ATENEO fought back from a set down to beat National University, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-18, to draw first blood in the UAAP Season 78 volleyball finals on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Two-time MVP Marck Espejo led the way for Ateneo with 21 points on 18 hits as Ateneo closed in on back-to-back titles.
Rex Intal scored 13 and Ysay Marasigan added 12 points for Ateneo, which needed almost two hours to beat the Bulldogs.
The Eagles can seal the title on Wednesday.
Ruben Baysac and Kim Malabunga each had 13 points for NU, while James Natividad and Madzlan Gampong scored 12 points each.