Ateneo stuns La Salle to take UAAP women’s volley finals opener




MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo dented La Salle’s perfect record with a stunning  17-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-20 triumph in the opener of the UAAP season 76 women’s volleyball finals Wednesday.

The Lady Eagles stretched their winning streak to eight, the longest in the team’s history as they snapped the Lady Spikers’  own winning streak at 30 in more than a year.

Alyssa Valdez (No. 2) of Ateneo packs a wallop that goes through two La Salle defenders – Abigail Marano (No. 2) and Victonara Galang (No. 8) of La Salle – in the first game of the UAAP 76 women’s volleyball finals Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the Araneta Coliseum. The Lady Eagles took the opener in four sets to cut down the Lady Archers advantage to two games. Game 2 will be on Saturday, March 8. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“Coach Tai reminded us, “heart strong,” that we can do it. So that’s was our mindset, that we’re good players and we can defeat them,” said rookie Michelle Morente, who led Ateneo with 17 points.

The Lady Eagles didn’t even need a backbreaking effort from star Alyssa Valdez, who had a quiet 16 points, as other players like Amy Ahomiro and Alyssa De Jesus contributed to to the win.

Ahomiro also had 16 points as she helped sustain the Lady Eagles’ run in the pivotal third set, while the diminutive yet high-leaping De Jesus added 12 in a quality performance for Ateneo.

After the second set comeback, Ateneo carried the momentum into the third set and built a 10-point lead, 21-10, which La Salle couldn’t overcome.

Errors and poor coverage proved to be the Lady Archers undoing as they gave away as much as 11 points in the second set, and managed only four attack points in the third.

La Salle sprung back to life late in the fourth set, closing in at 21-20, on a hit by Cyd Demecillo but that was the last the Lady Spikers would score as Ateneo racked up the next four points.

Demecillo finished with 16 points for La Salle, Ara Galang added 13 and Aby Maraño, 10.

Ateneo, though, still has to win two more times to topple La Salle, which came into the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage.

Game 2 is on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

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  • unc_sammy

    The Thai coach is a good motivator despite his poor English. He is also an exponent of a fast and well-placed spikes as opposed to power spikes that challenge the blockers, and also, ultimately tire out even the attackers.

    • sanjuan683

      Hey english is the key in winning the game.

  • TagaMarikina

    I would have to agree that the new (import) coach is doing better than Gorayeb. Dun palang sa pagkakakapanalo ng Ateneo against NU, that’s already something. I never thought NU will be defeated 2-0.

  • Mux

    I fave faith in the Lady Spikers. They will beat the Lady Eagles by hiding them in their Hotel California. :)

  • Joey

    Karamihan dito old players na ng ateneo pero hindi lang ginagamit ni Coach Roger Gorayeb. Kasi nag concentrate lang siya sa fab five. Nice job coach Tai

  • wazgoingon

    Take it one game at a time. Now, it’s down to a best of three series and Ateneo has momentum plus a positive frame of mind on its side. Let’s do it, Gals. Congrats.

  • Noel

    Another game means additional revenue.

  • TagaMarikina

    Go Lady Eagles!!! This only proves “bilog ang bola” ! =)

  • rex

    BOOM! Go Valdez and Company hehe.
    Galing ni Coach Bundit. I prefer you to the old one (Gorayeb, no offense po.)

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