UAAP FINALS: Na-Thor kami -- Almadro
Mark Escarlote on Apr 28, 2018 06:11 PM
Wala namang natatapos sa one game lang. So itís still two games para makuha yung championship. Still wala pa ring champion this year -- Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro
National University dropped the hammer on three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University as the Bulldogs pounded the Blue Eagles into submission in Game 1 of the best-of-three UAAP Season 80 men’s volleyball Finals series.
The Bulldogs came prepared, silencing the hitters of their archrivals for a 25-20, 25-19, 25-23, sweep Saturday at the Big Dome.
NU moved a win closer to reclaiming the crown they last held back in Season 76 in the first of their five straight Finals showdown against the Blue Eagles.
Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro admitted that the Bulldogs, who had almost a week of rest after sweeping University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four, hit them good.
“Hats off to NU, they are really prepared, they are well-rested,” said Almadro, whose squad suffered its second straight loss to NU after a four-set defeat in the second round that sent Ateneo to a twice-to-win disadvantage against Far Eastern University.
It was Ateneo’s first loss to NU in the Finals in the past four years.
“And they really gave us a hammer before. Na-Thor kami. Pero well, kailangan lang…,” said Almadro comparing their loss to being hammered by Avengers hero Thor before stopping midway in his statement as to not give a spoiler of the latest Marvel movie. “Di pa ako nanonood, sorry.”
Reception was the main problem of the Blue Eagles.
Ateneo had a hard time controlling the first ball that resulted in poor and limited setting options of Ateneo top playmaker Ish Polvorosa and an even hellish outing for four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo.
The King Eagle, who averaged 46 points per game in the semis, scored 16 points in a hellish 16-of-44 spiking clip.
But Almadro remains positive of their chances of completing a four-peat.
“Wala namang natatapos sa one game lang,” he said. “So it’s still two games para makuha yung championship. Still wala pa ring champion this year.”
“We’re just giving it in a positive… positive pa rin yung approach namin,” he added. “We’re very sorry that medyo tight kami today. Siguro medyo na-hyped up or medyo we have a gruesome semifinal series with FEU.”
Almadro hopes to see a different Blue Eagles in Game 2 on Wednesday.
“I’m sure, I trust my players, they’re very resilient. They know what happened and they know what to do,” Almadro said. “So what’s important is hindi pa tapos yung series. We still have one more game to go.”
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