UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Ateneo shares lead, moves closer to a semis twice-to-beat

Mark Escarlote on Apr 07, 2018 12:48 PM
Ateneo shares lead, moves closer to a semis twice-to-beat
Ateneo de Manila University inches closer to a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage with an easy win over University of Sto. Tomas.

Three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University moved closer to clinching a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage after pushing University of Sto. Tomas on the brink of elimination with an emphatic 25-11, 25-21, 25-21, victory Saturday in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.

The Blue Eagles joined archrival National University at the top spot with a 10-2 win-loss slate.

Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo scored 15 points off 12 attacks, two kill blocks and a service while adding eight digs for the Katipunan-based squad. Ron Medalla posted all but one of his 15 points off kills while Gian Glorioso finished with 13 markers.

“It’s a challenge for us na makaabot sa top two,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.

The Blue Eagles last two assignments are against winless University of the East on Wednesday before closing the elimination round in a Finals rematch against the Bulldogs on April 15.    

“Now we’re staying very focused. We know it’s going to be challenging but I trust my players, we trust each other to be able to get through this and hopefully enter the semis in the top two,” Almadro added.

Ateneo pounced on the sluggish Tigers right from the opening serve to cruise to an easy 82-minute domination.

No UST player scored in double figures with Joshua Umandal tallying five points while Jayvee Sumagaysay only had four markers as the Tigers dropped to 5-7 slate.

The Espana-based squad still has an outside chance of forcing a playoff for the last Final Four berth with a sweep of their last two games against semis-bound Far Eastern University (9-2) on Wednesday and Adamson University (6-6) on Saturday.




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