UAAP Season 81: Koyfman powers Blue Eagles past Green Spikers
Mark Escarlote on Feb 17, 2019 02:02 PM
Ateneo de Manila University beat De La Salle University to start its mission to reclaim the title in the UAAP Season 81 men's volleyball tournament.
Tony Koyfman announced his return with a monster game to power Ateneo de Manila University to a 25-23, 25-22, 25-15, victory over De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena on Sunday.
The Blue Eagles, who are looking to reclaim the title they yielded to archrival National University last year, joined other opening day winners University of the East, Far Eastern University and Adamson University.
The post-Marck Espejo era Ateneo struggled in form in the first two sets and even trailed in the third before mounting a huge rally to complete the sweep.
“Actually, we’re expecting na mahihirapan kami since first game namin, magkakapaan pa and everything. Nakita naman sa first two sets. Everybody’s waiting for someone to work hard and initiate the energy, to initiate the intensity inside the court,” said rookie Blue Eagles coach Timmy Sto. Tomas, who replaced Oliver Almadro who is now calling the shots for the Lady Eagles.
Koyfman, the Season 79 Finals Most Valuable Player, scored 15 points with 13 coming off attacks for the Katipunan-based squad. John Rivera and Chumason Njigha scored 10 each while Ron Medalla got nine markers for the Blue Eagles, who pounded 44 attacks behind the 32 excellent sets of Lawrence Magadia.
Ateneo trailed 8-10 in the third set before Koyfman, who skipped last year's action due to academic problems, led the Blue Eagles’ 13-2 charge to take a 21-10 lead and never looked back.
“Buti na lang nu’ng third set everyone stepped up. I wasn’t expecting na lalayo kami that far especially nu’ng third set na we were down by five points,” said Sto. Tomas. “Giving credit to the players di sila nag-give up and nakuha nila ang groove nila inside the court.”
Cris Dumago was the only Green Spiker in double figures with 12 points while Geraint Bacon posted eight markers.
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