UAAP: Ateneo outlasts FEU, claims share of fourth in men’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines—Jian Salarzon erupted for 29 points as Ateneo survived skidding Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-27, 15-7, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Salarzon fired 23 kills, four blocks, and two aces to help the Blue Eagles avert disaster after blowing a two-set lead
“We’re happy because we were able to execute our plays and we had good blocking,” said Salarzon in Filipino.
Ateneo, which had 14 blocks in the game, zoomed to a 9-0 advantage in the fifth set and never looked back to end a two-game skid.
Setter Lawrence Magadia paced the Blue Eagles with 21 excellent sets as Charles Absin, Jet Gopio, Ken Batas, and Amil Pacinio also contributed to spoil Mark Calado’s 31-point explosion.
“We’re happy because we still have a chance to make it to the Final Four. But at the same time, we need to win our remaining games. They beat us in the first round and they could be our ticket in the Final Four,” said Magadia in Filipino.
Ateneo tied FEU in fourth place with similar 6-6 slates after the two-hour and 32-minute game.
“I’m very happy because my players stepped up during the fifth set. They really wanted to win this game to keep our hopes alive for the Final Four,” said Ateneo coach Timmy Sto. Tomas before facing third-place La Salle on Sunday.
Absin also had four blocks for the Blue Eagles to finish with 14 points. Gopio had 13 points. Batas and Pacinio had 12 and 11 points, respectively. Libero Lance De Castro took care of the floor with 17 excellent receptions and 15 digs.
Calado fired 29 attacks and two blocks for FEU. Reymond Sabanal had eight blocks to finish with 15 points, while Dryx Saavedra had 14 points only for their team to suffer another loss.