Ateneo’s Lady Eagles kept their emotions in check and managed to channel their energy into playing a tidy game to extend the V-League title series to a decider with a four-set victory over the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses on Tuesday.
After an error-strewn opening match in the best-of-three title series, the Lady Eagles found a way to limit their errors and hacked out a hard-earned 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 28-26 win at The Arena in San Juan.
The winner-take-all match will be played on Sunday.
The Lady Eagles and their supporters were so elated that their celebrations held up the press interview of Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb for a few minutes.
“We lived to fight another day,” said Gorayeb, smiling.
The veteran coach said the Eagles were emotional going into the second match.
“Dami kasi naming errors. Siyempre championship ito kaya kino-control ko na yung emotions nila. Gigil sila maglaro,” said Gorayeb.
The Lady Eagles’ determination was in full display in the third set, where they came back from a 15-20 deficit.
“Malayo rin ang hinabol namin. Gusto talaga nila manalo para may isa pang laro,” said Gorayeb.
Alyssa Valdez led the Lady Eagles’ spirited comeback, finishing with 31 points.
“Even though down na kami, may tiwala kami sa isa’t-isa at alam namin na matitibayan namin ang depensa nila sa harap. ‘Yun ang nakapagmotivate sa amin,” Valdez said.