Ateneo had the edge in experience, says De Leon | Inquirer Sports

Ateneo had the edge in experience, says De Leon

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 02:04 AM March 05, 2017
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Ateneo middle blocker Bea De Leon said experience was a major factor in the Lady Eagles’ win over rival De La Salle in their first meeting in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament.

The Lady Eagles trumped the Lady Spikers in convincing fashion, 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, to finish the first round atop the standings with a 6-1 slate.

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“Our edge against La Salle was our experience compared to its players,” said De Leon Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “But they’re still a well-oiled machine.”

READ: Ateneo shocks La Salle to finish first round at no. 1

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De Leon, who had nine points in the game, is on her third year with Ateneo and has already won two titles with the Lady Eagles.

Ateneo, despite losing three-time MVP Alyssa Valdez, got a massive reinforcement in the form of the returning Mich Morente, who had 25 points in the game.

La Salle, on the other hand, lost vital leaders in Mika Reyes, Ara Galang, and Cyd Demecillo.

Setter Kim Fajardo is still with the team but her inclusion in the lineup was still up in the air weeks before the season opened.

READ: Valdez proud of what she left in Ateneo

La Salle has eight players who are in their second year or earlier and that makes up more than half the team.

De Leon added La Salle failure to hold on to its lead in the crucial moments was the reflection of the Lady Spikers’ immaturity.

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“The first and second sets was crucial for us because that’s when we cut their lead and that was also when they committed their errors,” said De Leon.

La Salle led 23-19 in the first and 23-18 in the second sets but was unable to hold on to the margins as the Lady Eagles mounted their comebacks.

Ateneo eventually laid the hammer down in the fourth set after recovering from the lost third period.

“It all boiled down to experience,” said De Leon.

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TAGS: Ateneo Lady Eagles, Bea de Leon, Sports, UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament
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