Marck Espejo, Ysay Marasigan lead way as Ateneo whips UP to reach UAAP volleyball finals
Marck Espejo and the Blue Eagles comes up with a huge semifinal win against a tough UP squad. Jaime Campos

ATENEO stayed on course in its bid for a third straight UAAP volleyball title, downing University of the Philippines, 25-12, 25-13, 25-16, on Saturday in the Final Four at the MOA Arena.

Back-to-back MVP Marck Espejo scored 12 points and skipper Ysay Marasigan added 11 for the Blue Eagles.

Ateneo was heavily favored to win over UP, but Blue Eagles coach Oliver Almadro said it wasn’t an easy assignment against a hungry Maroons squad.

“We made it to the finals so sabi ko UP matagal hindi nag-Final Four so mahirap to take them lightly,” he said.

“Kasi they will not be in the Final Four kung hindi sila talented and kung hindi sila determined. So sabi ko kung determined ’yung UP, we have to be more determined than them.”

Ateneo faces the winner of the semifinal between the Adamson Falcons and National University Bulldogs, who face off on Sunday.

“Hoping pa rin kami na going into the finals eh ’yung momentum, intensity, focus and hard work eh nandoon pa rin,” said Almadro.

Ateneo scored 39 on attacks against 17 by UP and hit six service aces while the Fighting Maroons made none.

UP team captain Alfred Valbuena scored eight points. 

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