UAAP 81 Finals: It took everybody for Ateneo to get back at Rondina-led UST

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 15, 2019 08:00 PM
It took everybody for Ateneo to get back at Rondina-led UST
Total team effort was the name of the game in Ateneo's Game 2 triumph over UST

Ateneo de Manila University was pushed to the brink by University of Sto. Tomas in Game 1 of the UAAP 81 Women’s Volleyball Finals.

Without an answer for Season MVP Sisi Rondina, the Lady Eagles put themselves in a must-win situation the rest of the way.

In the process, that loss last Saturday also made it a possibility that five days later would be the last time Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag and Kim Gequillana would be wearing the blue and white.

As it turns out, though, that actually became a rallying point for the Katipunan volleybelles.

“Of course, pumapasok talaga sa isip naming it might be our last game, but kino-cross out din namin,” Madayag said. “Lalaban talaga kami. We won’t go down without a fight.”

That’s exactly what Ateneo did in Game 2, Wednesday at MOA Arena where it was their turn to impose their will on their opponents.

If last time around, they only had 24 attack points, they hammered down 41 this time around.

If last time around, their blocking only accounted for five points, they closed down the door on their opponents eight times this time around.

If last time around, only one player tallied only one service ace, they registered 11 this time around.

And if last time around, Kat Tolentino was the lone Lady Eagle in double-digits, she was joined by Madayag and this time around. Even more, Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte chimed in nine and seven points, respectively.

Without a doubt, that was more than enough not only for Ateneo to stay alive and kicking, but also to seize the momentum heading into the winner-take-all Game 3 on Saturday.

“Today’s game, we really played our best. We really worked as a team,” De Leon said.

Madayag could only agree. As she put it, “Wala namang makakatalo sa amin if we play happy and we follow coach's instructions."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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