UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Ateneo closes first round with 6-game win streak

Mark Escarlote on Mar 03, 2018 01:25 PM
Ateneo closes first round with 6-game win streak
Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo scored 21 points in three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University's straight sets win over De La Salle University.

Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo played his usual explosive game as he led the three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University to a 25-16, 28-26, 25-22, victory over De La Salle University to close the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament first round on a high note Saturday at the MOA Arena.

Espejo, who was recently awarded by the Philippine Sportswriters Association as Mr. Volleyball, delivered 21 points coming off 18 attacks and three service aces for the Blue Eagles’ sixth straight win. The graduating hitter also added 11 digs and 10 excellent receptions in an all-around performance for the Katipunan-based squad.

Ateneo tied Far Eastern University, which handed the Blue Eagles an opening day loss, at the top spot with 6-1 win-loss record.      

After toying with the Green Spikers in the first set, the Ateneo got into trouble in the second frame with DLSU taking a 23-21 lead. The Blue Eagles saved three set points with Espejo tying it at 26 before Ateneo took the frame.

“Noong second set, we started dahan-dahan. Na-maximize ng La Salle 'yun,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “But I told my players, we're doing good, we just have to be a threat. Everybody has to be a threat. So kailangan namin talaga ng confidence eh. Bandang dulo naman, nag-deliver naman, 'yung mga expected ko, nag-deliver naman in the end.”

Ron Medalla and Season 79 Rookie of the Year Chumason Njigha had eight markers each for the Blue Eagles.

DLSU dropped to 3-4 slate tied with University of Sto. Tomas.

Raymark Woo and Arjay Onia got 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Green Spikers.  

 

 

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