Ateneo forges 5th straight title showdown vs NU
For the fifth straight year, Ateneo is taking on National University for the UAAP men’s volleyball title.
With Marck Espejo blasting away, Ateneo dismantled Far Eastern University’s twice-to-beat edge Wednesday for a 25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18 victory at FilOil Flying V Center.
The win lined the Blue Eagles up for a rare “four-peat.” The two teams have faced each other in the finals since Season 76, which NU won.
The Finals opener will be on Saturday noon, serving as appetizer to the women’s title match between La Salle and FEU.
But the road wasn’t that easy for Ateneo as it encountered a rough patch in the elimination rounds.
“We didn’t expect to be in the finals this year,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “We struggled in the first and second rounds and just doing the right thing, believing in the process and having faith.”
Espejo delivered 36 points, a few days after unloading a league-record 55 points in the first game of the Final Four. Setter Ish Polvorosa opened the firing lanes with 40 excellent sets.
NU ousted University of Santo Tomas in the other semifinal bracket.