ATENEO closed in on an elimination-round, ripping University of the East, 27-25, 25-19, 25-14, on Sunday in the UAAP Season 79 volleyball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Back-to-back MVP Marck Espejo led the way for the Blue Eagles with 19 points from 13 kills, five blocks and a service ace.
Rex Intal and 6-foot-8 Russian-American Tony Koyfman each had seven markers, while Fil-Nigerian Chumason Njigha added six points.
“I've been wanting to play Chu for a long time now, nauudlot lang. I'm confident naman with all my players from one to 14th. Chu, he's going to be our strength in the future,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.
The Blue Eagles, eyeing a third straight title, take on the La Salle Spikers on April 1 and National University Bulldogs on April 8.
Clifford Inoferio made 15 points for UE, while Noel Alba added eight markers.
Edward Camposano is out with a right knee injury and the Red Warriors suffered their 12th loss in 13 matches.