ATENEO-Motolite channeled University of the Philippines’ famous battlecry when it overcame BanKo Perlas, 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.
Their backs against the wall, the Lady Eagles showed grit and composure to frustrate the much-experienced Perlas Spikers.
The win gave Ateneo-Motolite the chance to face Creamline in the best-of-three finals starting on Wednesday.
“Actually we drew inspiration from UP, ‘Atin To’,” shared Lady Eagles team captain Bea de Leon. “We just said talaga na if you believe it’s ours, it will be given, and true enough (it was given).”
Down by two sets, Ateneo-Motolite regrouped to extend the match and push BanKo to its limits.
Ahead by as much as five points in the fifth set, 11-6, the Lady Eagles struggled as the Perlas Spikers snatched the lead and reached match point, 14-11.
But the Katipunan-based squad proved to be more resilient as it escaped with the victory.
“Coach O said in the huddle na, ‘You really have to want it kasi sila din eh gusto rin nila’. So it’s the labanan ng puso at ng gusto talaga,” said Maddie Madayag, who had four back-to-back points down the stretch, from three consecutive blocks and one service ace.
While the ‘Atin To’ battlecry of UP fueled Ateneo-Motolite, head coach Oliver Almadro hopes that the Lady Eagles can also channel the Blue Eagles’ win in their best-of-three finals series against Creamline.
Ateneo defeated UP in Game One of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals on Saturday and both the Lady Eagles and the Blue Eagles will play in their respective finals game on Wednesday.
“Of course nanalo ang Ateneo kahapon so kailangan din namin manalo today para maganda sa Wednesday, parehong finals,” said Almadro.