Ateneo clobbers NU to complete elims sweep, advance to finals of UAAP volley
Ateneo completed its first-ever sweep of the elimination round. Dante Peralta

ATENEO completed its elimination round sweep as the Blue Eagles clobbered National University in straight sets, 25-17, 25-21, 25-16, in the UAAP Season 79 men’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Marck Espejo unleashed 16 points, 12 on attacks and four on blocks, with Anthony Koyfman and Rex Intal adding 11 and 10 points respectively to secure an outright finals appearance.

“It's history, but 'di pa tapos,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “We have to reset, and we have to go back to the start.

“14-0 is now history. We are now in the finals but the job is not yet done. We will prepare for the championship,” Almadro said.

Despite their loss, the Bulldogs are assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semis with a 12-2 win-loss record.

Meanwhile, Far Eastern University dominated University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 25-18, 25-18, in a preview of their stepladder match.

Greg Dolor scored 13 points for FEU, while Richard Solis and JP Bugaoan added 10 points each as the Tamaraws finished with an 8-6 card.

“Kung titignan mo no-bearing, pero hindi namin tiningnan ng ganoon. Talagang naka-mindset sa mga bata na may bearing ang laban na ito,” FEU head coach Reynaldo Diaz said.

“Ito yung magsasabi sa future na mga gusto mag-FEU. Yung sinabi ko sa kanila na ipakita natin sa kanila kung ano yung larong FEU, ano ang pusong FEU, hindi pwede pag no bearing maglalie low lang,” he added.

No player from UST (6-8) scored in double figures with skipper Jerico Jose leading the Tigers with seven points while TJ Caradon and Isaiah Icalina adding six points each.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @pe_gab