Ateneo soars back to UAAP volleyball finals, stops FEU in its tracks
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo set up a return flight to the finals after ending Far Eastern University’s campaign with a 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14 win in the rubber match of UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Center.
The Lady Eagles lost their twice-to-beat incentive as the no. 1 seed after Lady Tamaraws’ 10-25, 23-25, 22-25, 12-25, 15-8 win last Saturday, but recovered at the perfect time to regain their place in the title round.
This will be Ateneo’s seventh finals appearance in eight years, only failing advance to the championship of Season 80 after losing to—as fate had it—FEU in the Final Four.
“I’m just an instrument, the most important thing today is the heart of my players,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro of the victory. “From the no.1 player down to the no.14, they really worked hard, pushed each other up.”
The Lady Eagles will face University of Santo Tomas in the best-of-three finals showdown starting on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We’re not finished yet, we will trust in the Lord, but we will work harder,” added Almadro.
After taking care of a difficult third set, the Lady Eagles proceeded to dominate FEU in the fourth going on a blistering 9-1 start.
FEU tried to mount a comeback with Jerrili Malabanan cutting the deficit to five, 15-10, with a strong kill from the middle but that was the last push the Lady Tamaraws could conjure.
Kat Tolentino floored FEU libero Buding Duremdes with a massive down-the-line kill for Ateneo’s 21-11 lead before the Lady Eagles got to the 24-12 match point with a well-placed kill from Ponggay Gaston.
Heather Guino-o salvaged a couple more points for FEU, 24-14, before Tolentino finished things off.
Tolentino led all scorers with 19 points for Ateneo while getting ample support from Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston who had 12 points apiece.
Malabanan led FEU’s offense with 18 points while Guino-o and Jeanette Villareal had 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Post-game with the Ateneo Lady Eagles after their four-set win over FEU in the Final Four. Ateneo will face UST in the finals. #UAAPSeason81
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, May 8, 2019