UAAP volleyball: AC Miner’s block party fueled by desire to keep Ateneo alive
MANILA, Philippines — AC Miner’s determination to keep Ateneo’s semifinal hopes alive fueled her season-best performance that helped her team force a playoff for the No.4 spot in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament.
Ateneo fell on the brink of elimination after Adamson upset La Salle in four sets on Thursday afternoon at Mall of Asia Arena.
Hours later, Miner dropped a season-high eight blocks as the Blue Eagles overcame the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 19-25, 25-11, 25-18, 25-19.
The rookie’s 17-point effort buoyed by her tremendous blocking forged Ateneo’s playoff match against Adamson for the last semifinals berth on Saturday at 5 p.m., where the winner will advance to the stepladder against the No.3 University of Santo Tomas.
“When I saw it on the screen, I was surprised that I had eight blocks. I didn’t expect it. I just did what I had to do in front of the net, and I didn’t expect to get eight blocks,” said Miner after proving eight of Ateneo’s 13 blocks.
“Coming to this game, it was all about how badly we needed to win this game. We still needed to win this game because we have standards,” Miner said. “We can’t afford to lose games. So heading to this game, we really needed to win. That was our mindset.”
Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro knew that his 19-year-old middle blocker, who was the No.2 best blocker in the elimination round with 0.53 block average, was going to step up when it mattered most.
“I’m expecting this from AC and she’s really working hard in practice. She follows instructions right away. Hoping and praying for greater things to come from AC,” Almadro said. “She just has to be a smiley because she’s quiet. But I know I know that AC will work hard.”
As Ateneo enters the postseason, the Ateneo coach said the best is yet to come for Miner.
“It doesn’t end here. She has a lot to learn and we hope she will keep on improving,” he said in Filipino.
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