ATENEO advanced to the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference finals with a 22-25, 25-22, 31-29, 25-13 win over University of Santo Tomas in Game Three of the best-of-three semis on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Blue Eagles, winners of the last two Spikers’ Turf collegiate titles, look to make it three straight titles when they take on Far Eastern University in the best-of-three PVL finals series starting on Wednesday.
Marck Espejo, who missed the second match as he saw action in the UAAP Season 80 beach volleyball tournament, returned to score 23 points for Ateneo, while Gian Carlo Glorioso and Ishmael Rivera combined for 21 markers.
“’Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanila, we have to be specific, we should know what to do next because the opponent is really studying us,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.
“Alam naman natin na nasa amin ang mata ng lahat, inaaral kami. So we really have to do something new,” he added.
One point away from winning the set, 24-20, Ateneo allowed UST to score four straight points to tie it at 24 and the match reached 29-all.
Espejo pushed the Blue Eagles at match point followed by an attack error from UST that ended the match.
“Since last year, ‘yun na ang sinabi ko na intact team, high intensity team. May winning tradition din so we really have to be prepared for them,” said Almadro.
“’Yung energy ng FEU, ‘yun ang nagdadala sa kanila eh. What's important is kung ma-match namin or malamangan namin ang energy ng FEU, I guess papatas kami sa laban this Finals,” he added.
Joshua Umandal scored 20, while Manuel Medina added 12 points for the Tiger Spikers, who try to salvage third place against National University.