UAAP Season 81: Ateneo hands FEU first defeat

Mark Escarlote on Mar 20, 2019 12:49 PM
UAAP Season 81: Ateneo hands FEU first defeat
Ateneo de Manila University handed Far Eastern University its first defeat in the UAAP Season 81 men's volleyball tournament.

Ateneo de Manila University clawed back from a six-point deficit in the fourth set before hanging tough in the closing stretch to put Far Eastern University's impressive winning run to a screeching halt,  31-29, 22-25, 25-23, 26-24, Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 men's volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Blue Eagles exacted revenge on their first round tormentors to get back on the winning track for a 5-3 win-loss card and deny the Tamaraws of a chance to make a run for an elims sweep. 

FEU absorbed its first loss in eight outings in a loss that assured the season of a Final
Four format.

Ron Medalla starred for the Katipunan-based squad with personal-high 32 points off 27 kills, three kill blocks and two aces. Tony Koyfman added 21 markers with 19 coming off attacks for the Blue Eagles, who had 65 kill points behind Lawrence Magadia's superb playmaking of 43 excellent sets. 

Down, 5-11, early in the fourth set, Ateneo made a telling run to quell FEU's hot start.

The Blue Eagles turned a 16-19 deficit into a 23-21 lead in the fourth frame with a 7-2 barrage before the Tams answered with three straight points to take the set point.

Tony Koyfman returned fire with back-to-back hits before FEU was whistled with an error as Ateneo escaped with the win.

John Rivera added 13 points including back-to-back hits to clinch the extended first set while adding 32 excellent receptions and 11 digs for an all-around play for the Blue Eagles.

Jude Garcia scored 17 of his 19 points on attacks and added 17 excellent receptions while Richard Solis and Redijohn Paler finished with 15 markers each for the Tams. JP Bugaoan had 11 points for FEU.

Meanwhile, defending champion National University extended its winning romp to seven straight for a share of the lead at the expense of Adamson University, 25-18, 25-18, 25-19, in the curtain-raiser.

League-leading scorer Bryan Bagunas poured 26 points anchored on 19 kills, five aces and a kill block as the Bulldogs improved to 7-1 mark tied with first round tormentor FEU.

Francis Saura added 11 markers while James Natividad and Kim Malabunga combined for 11 points for NU, who played a solid game at the net with 14 kill blocks.

The Falcons slid to 4-4 slate.

Leo Miranda was the only Adamson player in double figures with 11 points while Paolo Pablico had nine.

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