Ateneo regains UAAP title, tops UST in Game 3
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo knocked off University of Santo Tomas, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22, to reclaim the championship in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Eagles bagged their third title in six years after they won their last one in 2015 while also spoiling the Golden Tigresses’ bid to win their first in nine years.
UST drew first blood in the series with a three-set sweep, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, before Ateneo evened things out in Game 2, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15.
Ateneo had itself a respectable 19-15 lead in the third set after Maddie Madayag’s emphatic block on Eya Laure but the Golden Tigresses managed to storm back and tie it at 21-all after Cherry Rondina’s kill.
After another tie, 22-all, courtesy of Rondina, Madayag got up and gave the Lady Eagles two straight points for their 24-22 lead.
Jules Samonte then finished things off with an off-the-block kill capturing Ateneo’s championship.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you end,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. “We lost the first match of the season [against De La Salle] and many people counted us out, called out our outside hitters, that we don’t have reception, but we made it.”
“It’s because of our fate and courage. It’s really written, the Lord has plans, no matter the challenges, whatever it is, He will really give it to you.”
Kat Tolentino finished with 15 points to lead Ateneo’s offense while Madayag had 10 points.
It was Ateneo’s towering defense that lorded over the Golden Tigresses with the Lady Eagles notching up 14 kill blocks that quickly erased its 37-27 deficit to UST in the spikes department.
Rondina had 18 points to lead the Golden Tigresses while Laure had 10.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.