Ateneo bucks Valdez absence, trips UST
EXHAUSTION got the best of Ateneo’s star spiker but the team’s young guns still ably took over for a 25-11, 27-25, 19-25, 25-20 triumph over University of Santo Tomas at the start of the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference yesterday at Filoil Flying V Arena.
The Lady Eagles got off to a commanding start even minus star Alyssa Valdez as Jhoanna Maraguinot and Bea de Leon fueled Ateneo’s searing attacks before helping clip the Tigresses’ comeback efforts.
Valdez, who powered the Lady Eagles to back-to-back UAAP championships, sat out the entire game due to over-fatigue.
“Good thing Maraguinot played well, she really improved a lot,” said Ateneo assistant coach Parley Tupaz, who called the shots as mentor Tai Bundit has yet to return from Thailand.
Maraguinot, who fired 21 of her game-high 23 points off spikes, helped wrap it up with a kill that put the Lady Eagles at match point.
In the second game, Far Eastern University turned back the debuting University of Batangas in straight sets, 25-20, 25-18, 25-10.
Tupaz said Valdez’s playing status remains indefinite.
“She may rest for one month or maybe the entire conference,” said Tupaz.
In recent months, Valdez saw action in the SEA Games and the Under-23 Asian Championships aside from leading PLDT Home Ultera to the Shakey’s V-League Open crown.
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