Ateneo notches second-straight title, wallops La Salle in three | Inquirer Sports
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Ateneo notches second-straight title, wallops La Salle in three

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:39 PM March 14, 2015

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Video by Ryan Leagogo

MANILA, Philippines—It’s over and they annihilated the competition.

Completing an unprecedented 16-0 season sweep, Ateneo de Manila University shell-shocked De La Salle University 25-22, 25-17, 25-23, on Saturday afternoon at Mall of Asia Arena to take home their second championship in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

ateneo UAAP 77 volley champs

The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles celebrate as they take home their second straight title in UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

Jia Morado, the Lady Eagles’ diminutive setter, stood tall at the end tapping the ball to La Salle’s open space to send the crowd in blue in pandemonium.

Ateneo’s second title came off their fourth straight dance against La Salle splitting the titles between them with two apiece.

This title, though, swung heavily to the favor of Ateneo as La Salle’s talisman Ara Galang and opposite spiker Camille Cruz went down with an injury.

An error from La Salle’s Desiree Cheng gave the Lady Eagles a 23-20 lead and gave Ateneo a huge boost in momentum.

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Cheng, however, would spark back-to-back points for La Salle as the Lady Spikers cut the lead to just one, 23-22.

Then Morado went to work.

She gave her the championship point and sealed it off with that beautiful drop shot.

Team captain Alyssa Valdez showed her admiration with simple gestures as she was “speechless” on Morado’s play.

“There’s no word for her. You never know what to expect from Jia,” Valdez said.

“Jia was the one who carried it for us.”

Teamwork, not individual talent

Finals MVP Amy Ahomiro said their championship was the result of teamwork and not of individual talent alone.

Ahomiro

UAAP season 77 women’s volleyball finals MVP Ronggomaipapa “Amy” Ahomiro with her trophy. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

“I’m shocked, I feel so honored, this MVP is just the extra ‘sarapness,‘” Ahomiro said.

Ateneo shook off a shaky start in the first set and completely dominated La Salle in the second with a masterful showing from the Lady Eagles defense.

They led by as much as eight, 18-10, courtesy of a miscommunication spell from La Salle.

Bea de Leon scored the set point for Ateneo in the second set, 24-17, and Cheng’s sorry error gave the Lady Eagles a 2-0 set advantage.

Valdez said this championship was different from their first since they had nothing to lose in their first title and now the pressure is on them.

“Last year we were playing like we had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Valdez said. “It’s hard to defend a title, what more two titles.”

Valdez was once again on her offensive tear with 20 points but she wasn’t the only one in double figures.

Finals MVP Ahomiro, Bev Morente and De Leon had 10 points each.

Championship-sealer Morado had six points.

No La Sallian scored in double-figures with Mary Joy Baron and Mika Reyes the highest pointers for them finishing with nine and eight points each.

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TAGS: Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, Sports, UAAP, uaap volleyball
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