UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Ateneo punches ticket to playoffs for ninth year in a row

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 04, 2018 04:29 PM
Ateneo punches ticket to playoffs for ninth year in a row
Jho Maraguinot went toe-to-toe with Sisi Rondina, but the Ateneo supporting cast proved to be stronger than UST's in another five-setter

Ateneo de Manila University remains red-hot in the second round of the UAAP 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.

Jho Maraguinot matched Sisi Rondina point-by-point, Kat Tolentino made it count when it mattered most, and the Lady Eagles edged out very game University of Sto. Tomas in another five-setter, 25-22, 20-25, 16-25, 25-17, and 15-9 on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Maraguinot and teammates have now won five games in a row to improve their record to 9-3.

This latest win assures their place in the playoffs for the ninth straight year.

It didn’t come easy, however, as Ateneo found itself down two sets to one before Maraguinot took over in the fourth.

In the decisive fifth set, the Tigresses scored the first point before Tolentino and Maddie Madayag got together for a 12-3 run and a 12-4 advantage in favor of their team. “We really trusted our training and our teammates and it seeing it show on the court is such a blessing,” the former said post-game.

Caitlyn Viray provided a big boost off the bench and pulled UST to within 9-12, but Tolentino shut the door on them once and for all with two points sandwiching a Maraguinot kill.

Tolentino wound up with a team-high 21 points built on 17 attacks while Maraguinot also had 17 spikes for a total of 19 markers.

Skipper Maddie Madayag chipped in 11 points, including four blocks and three aces.

Even though they have already made the next round, the Lady Eagles still have their sights set on the top two spots and the twice-to-beat advantage. “This doesn’t mean na we’re gonna stop here. We’re gonna keep working harder,” Madayag said.

On the other hand, the loss pushes the Tigresses to the brink of elimination. Now at 4-8, they are now hoping for a National University loss in the later game to remain in contention.

Rondina led them in the losing effort with 21 points while Francisco and Milena Alessandrini also added 10 markers apiece.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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