MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo racked up two crucial points to put away University of Santo Tomas for good, 25-19, 25-14, 17-25, 20-25, 15-13, and nab another title Sunday in the 9th Shakey’s V-League first conference at the Arena in San Juan city.
Tied at 13-all in the fifth set, the Lady Eagles pounced on a costly error from the Tigresses, then Dzi Gervacio delivered the match-sealing point for their back-to-back championship.
Alyssa Valdez, whose presence for Ateneo has been invaluable even in the UAAP, was fittingly adjudged the Finals MVP as she churned out another commendable performance with 22 points—19 off kills and two off aces.
Thai guest player Phee Nok Kesinee finished with 15 points while Gervacio added 12 points for the Lady Eagles, who kept their composure intact despite losing two straight sets to the Tigresses.
Ateneo, whose only defeat in the tournament came in the hands of UST in game one of the finals, seemed headed to an easy finals win after convincingly bagging the first two sets.
But the Tigresses, six-time champion in the V-League, wouldn’t back down and tied the match at two sets apiece before going toe to toe with the Lady Eagles in the final frame.
Judy Caballejo’s attempt, though, went wide to give Ateneo the match-point edge, and UST failed to add another title to its legacy.
Caballejo had 17 points while Maika Ortiz paced the Tigresses with 18 markers—four off service aces and three from blocks.