Ateneo Blue Eagles retain UAAP volleyball title with sweep of NU Bulldogs in Season 78 final
The Blue Eagles score a more comfortable win in the second match after taking the series opener in four sets. Jerome Ascano

ATENEO claimed its second consecutive UAAP crown after beating National University, 25-16, 25-20, 25-19, on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Behind the efforts of Ysay Marasigan and season Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo, the Blue Eagles captured the Season 78 crown to win back-to-back titles, matching the feat made by the Bulldogs in 2013 and 2014.

Marasigan, who played his final game with the Blue Eagles, was adjudged finals MVP after finishing with 12 points in the second match of the best-of-three series.

"Nag-deliver ‘yung mga players and they believe they are worthy," said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. "I told my players that this is just a simple game, just do more and do more than your opponent."

Espejo, who formally received his MVP trophy before Game Two, had 11 points including the final point of the match but he also got support from Marasigan, and Joshua Villanueva, who also had 11 in Game Two.

"Sobrang confident sila going into this game. Ako lang ‘yung medyo (kinakabahan) kasi this is our first time to defend the crown. I’m happy for the players na pinairal nila ‘yung maturity nila all throughout the game," said Almadro.

The Blue Eagles only lost once in the eliminations for a 13-1 win-loss slate, before beating University of the Philippines in the semifinal round. Ateneo took Game One of the finals, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-18 win.

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