ATENEO-Motolite arranged a finals showdown with Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, defeating BanKo, 21-25, 23-25, 25-17, 27-25, 21-19, in Game Three of the best-of-three semis on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles will face the Cool Smashers in a best-of-three finals series starting on Wednesday.
Kat Tolentino, who finished with 20 points, led four others in double figures as Ponggay Gaston tallied 15 markers, Maddie Madayag had 14, Bea de Leon chipped in 13 and Jules Samonte delivered 12.
“Hindi na namin in-expect ang finals dito sa V-League,” admitted Ateneo-Motolite coach Oliver Almadro, whose wards needed two hours and 33 minutes to finish the game.
“Pro (league) ‘to eh and we’re just a collegiate team so we didn’t expect this but my players wanted this,” he added.
The Lady Eagles were comfortable ahead, 11-6, in the fifth set before the Perlas Spikers countered with an 8-0 run to take the match point , 14-11, before Ateneo-Motolite fought back and saved three match points, 14-14.
Dzi Gervacio gave BanKo its second match point, 15-14, but Ateneo-Motolite refused to give up to snatch the match point, 19-18.
Nicole Tiamzon tied the contest, 19-19, but an untimely setting error by Fen Emnas and Gaston’s powerful attack sealed the win for the Lady Eagles.
BanKo escaped Ateneo-Motolite in Game One, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, before the Lady Eagles evened the series via a straight-set victory in Game Two, 25-21, 25-20, 26-24, on Saturday.
BanKo was relegated to the battle for third against Petro Gazz.
Tiamzon made 28 points, built on 25 kills, for BanKo, while Gervacio had 18, Sue Roces contributed 17, Kathy Bersola added 16 and Joy Dacoron scored 11 markers.