MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo watched as De La Salle clinched its fifth consecutive finals berth after making quick work of National University.
But it didn’t take long for the Lady Eagles to join their fierce rivals following a grueling 25-23, 25-23, 26-24, win over third seed Adamson Saturday night in the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Siyempre gusto talaga namin na makapasok sa Finals, naghirap kami sa practice and inisip din namin yung mga graduating players sa team,” said spiker Alyssa Valdez, moments after the Lady Eagles’ thrilling third-set comeback sealed their second straight trip to the Finals.
The Lady Falcons appeared on their way to extending the match after they led, 23-19, and came to match point, 24-23, after Pau Soriano scored on a kill.
Soriano though, committed an error that gave life to Ateneo before Valdez completed her team’s rally with a cross court kill and a block.
“Prior to the game, I talked to the girls, magaling ang Adamson especially on defense. Siguro motivated din talaga ang mga bata na mag-finals,” said Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. “Malaking bagay din na twice-to-beat kami.”
Valdez finished with 22 points while oriano had 17 to cap off her impressive five-year run with Adamson.
The Ateneo-La alle best-of-three championship series rolls off on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the same venue.