ATENEO cruised to an easy 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 win over University of Santo Tomas in the opening game of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference on Sunday at the jampacked The Arena in San Juan.
Alyssa Valdez tallied 22 points for the Lady Eagles, who adjusted well to the entry of Rachel Anne Daquis as their guest player and the absence of UAAP mainstays Dzi Gervacio and Gretchen Ho.
“Four days pa lang kami nag-papractice with Rachel kaya nangagapa pa kami with each other,” said Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. “Hindi katulad ng UST, guest player nila player din naman ng UST.
“’Yung relationship nandoon pa din, ’yung kay Rachel, malaking adjustment. Luckily, nakapag-adjust naman kami,” Gorayeb added.
But the Lady Eagles didn’t really look like a team still trying to find their way around with a new player, as they sprung to a 23-19 lead after the Tigresses closed in at 18-17.
Ateneo won the second set 25-23 but not after UST came to within 24-23.
The Lady Eagles overtook the Tigresses with Valdez scoring six consecutive points to grab the lead, 17-12, in the third.
Daquis, the former Far Eastern University star in the UAAP, had 12 points in his debut in blue and white.
UST guest player Aiza Maizo had 12 points while Carmela Tunay added 10 markers for the Tigresses, who failed to mount a comeback in the third due to errors.