UAAP volleyball: Ateneo beats UP, former coach for first win

UAAP volleyball: 0 no more as Ateneo beats UP, former coach for first win

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 08:58 PM February 28, 2024

Lyann De Guzman Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP volleyball

Lyann De Guzman and the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines–Ateneo and coach Oliver Almadro parted ways on a string of losses.

In their reunion, although on opposite sides of the court, the Blue Eagles kept their former mentor winless while finally earning a victory of their own.


Ateneo pulled off the biggest comeback of the season so far by reversing University of the Philippines, 22-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-17,15-9, on Wednesday night at the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball.


SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

“After we lost two sets, we continued to play with a strong mind and never gave up,’’ said Ateneo coach Sergio Veloso in his breakthrough win as Ateneo coach after three games.

De Guzman struck their rivals with a career-high 24 points built on 19 solid attacks while Buena delivered 18 attacks in frustrating the Lady Maroons, who are now led by Almadro as both coach and program director.

“Just like what our coach said, we just have to keep on playing even when we’re down. We just held on until the end,’’ said De Guzman after also lighting up the stats sheet with 18 receptions, 11 digs and four blocks.

READ: UAAP volleyball: Ateneo’s long-sleeved jerseys just a one time thing

UP seemed headed toward breaking a long drought against its neighbor in Katipunan after Danica Celis sealed the second set with a block on Geezel Tsunashima’s spike at set point.

But the Blue Eagles refused to be cowed in the face of imminent defeat.


De Guzman scored four of her team’s last six points in the third set capped by a cross court strike at set point that breathed life into Ateneo’s sagging fortunes.

Ateneo Blue Eagles' Sophia Beatriz Buena UAAP volleyball

Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Sophia Beatriz Buena. –MARLO CUETO/

The Blue Eagles then raced in stealing the ensuing frame by building a large cushion with De Guzman’s spike off the block eventually forcing the five-setter.

Buena’s turn to play hero came in the deciding set, attacking the Lady Maroons’ weak side as Ateneo completed the reversal.

“This is definitely a team effort. I couldn’t have done it without them, so credit goes to my teammates,’’ said Buena.

Tsunashima added 12 points, 14 digs and one ace while Alexis Miner contributed 11 points for the Blue Eagles, who survived their second consecutive five-setter.

They likewise forced the National University Lady Bulldogs to an extended set last weekend, but faltered.

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“Last time, we weren’t able to sustain. Now, we overcame adversity,’’ said Veloso.

Still winless after three games, the Lady Maroons’ energy circled the drain as well as the efforts of Stephanie Bustrillo and Nina Ytang, who tallied 17 and 12 points each.

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, UAAP Season 86

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