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    Ateneo tightens grip on PVL Open lead with four-set win over Tacloban

    Nov 3, 2018

    ATENEO-Motolite defeated Tacloban, 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19, to extend its winning streak to three and tighten its grip on the top spot in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan.

    The Lady Eagles flirted with disaster, dropping the third set and allowing the Fighting Warays to take an early 14-10 lead in the fourth.

    Jules Samonte providing the spark and scored five points to lead a blistering 11-2 run as Ateneo took control, 21-16, and held on for their eighth win in 10 matches.

    “I love Jules today. She stepped up to the challenge. Nung unang ginamit ko siya wala Pagbalik niya, she accepted the challenge,” said Lady Eagles coach Oliver Almadro of Samonte, who only played in the last two sets.

    “I challenged her na it's about time. When the opportunity comes, she has to be ready and Jules proved that she is always ready.”

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    Maddie Madayag scored 14 and Bea De Leon added 13, rookie Vanie Gandler chipped in 11 points and had 14 digs, while Kat Tolentino added 10 markers for Ateneo.

    Deanna Wong had 28 excellent sets and had eight points, matching Samonte’s total score, while libero Dani Ravena had 21 digs and 12 excellent receptions.

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    Almadro praised Tacloban for two tough matches.

    “Talagang kontra pelo because players of Tacloban are really smart,” he said. “They don't just rely on power, they rely on their wits and smarts. We really have to be consistent with what we are doing.”

    Ateneo-Motolite will return to action in less than 24 hours, facing Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons at 6:30 p.m.

    Tacloban dropped its second straight match, sliding to a 4-6 card.

    Heather Guino-o scored 16 points, Dimdim Pacres delivered 13 hits, while Jovie Prado added 12 markers on top of 22 digs and 14 receptions. The Fighting Warays try to bounce back when it faces Creamline Cool Smashers (6-2) on Wednesday.

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