Blue Eagles strengthen AUG gold medal round bid
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 14, 2016 09:17 PM
The Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles are just a win away from advancing to the gold medal round.
Right after their women’s team captured its first win, Ateneo de Manila made it a double celebration as the Blue Eagles snatched their second straight victory in the 18th ASEAN University Games volleyball competition at the National University of Singapore Sports and Recreation Hall 5 Thursday.
Behind the hot hands of back-to-back UAAP Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo and Ysay Marasigan, the Blue Eagles recovered from a set down to turn back host team Singapore, 22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22, for a 2-1 win-loss record and a win away from advancing to the gold medal match.
After dominating the second and third sets, Ateneo faced a great challenge from Singapore down the stretch of the fourth frame.
Singapore hacked away the Blue Eagles’ 21-17 lead to just two points, 22-20, before committing consecutive errors to put Ateneo at matchpoint.
The host squad saved two match points before Espejo nailed the finishing back row attack to seal the win.
Ateneo had a hard time shaking the Singaporeans off in the opening set. The Blue Eagles saw their 18-13 lead evaporate as Singapore racked up five unanswered points.
Singapore broke a 20-all deadlock with two straight points. Ateneo answered but an error by the Blue Eagles pushed Singapore at set point. The Filipinos saved a point after a service error by Singapore but Ateneo gave the set away in the next set.
Ateneo, which swept Laos Wednesday, will conclude the preliminary round against Indonesia at 4:30 p.m. on Friday in a pivotal match that could determine if the Blue Eagles will advance in the gold medal match.
The Lay Eagles, meanwhile, swept Singapore in the women’s side to advance in the bronze medal round with the same opponent on Saturday.