Ateneo one win away from conference sweep with five-set squeaker over National U
Marck Espejo and the Blue Eagles look to bag a second Spikers Turf title.

ATENEO overcame National U’s solid blocking and scored a 16-25, 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11 victory on Wednesday to close in on the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference crown at the Philsports Arena.

The Eagles, looking to score a second straight title, came up with 66 spikes, 18 more than the Bulldogs, in the one-hour and 53-minute match of power hitting and superb blocking.

Marck Espejo sustained his fiery form and hammered in 18 kills and wound up with 20 points, while four other Blue Eagles came up with double-digit scores.

Rex Intal came up with 16 points, Josh Villanueva and Paul Koyfman fired 12 hits apiece and skipper Karl Baysa added 11 markers for Ateneo, one win away from completing a sweep.

The Eagles, who scored six aces, go for the clincher on Saturday.

Bryan Bagunas turned in a 17-hit performance while Kim Malabunga backed him up with 12 and Francis Saura, Madzlan Gampong and Fauzi Ismail combined for 23 markers.

The Bulldogs had 11 blocks, including four from Saura and three from Bagunas.

Meanwhile, University of Sto. Tomas drew first blood in the best-of-three series for third against La Salle, 25-15, 25-18, 25-23.

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