AN undermanned Davao selection stunned UAAP champion Ateneo, 22-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-18, 19-17, in their first match in the quarterfinals of the Shakey's V-League Season 11 First Conference on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Jocemer Tapic led all scorers with 16 points, while Princess Oliveros chipped in with 14 as Davao gained a tie with Ateneo in Group I with an even win-loss record of 1-1. The Lady Agilas' first-round loss to University of Santo Tomas was carried over to the second phase, as well as the Lady Eagles' win over Adamson in the group stage.
May Shiel Agton added 13, while Angel Antipuesto and Mary Grace Berte made 12 each for the Lady Agilas, who lost two players when team captain Venus Flores and Irish Dignadice have left to play in a beach volleyball tournament in Boracay.
“Tibay lang ng loob, ang importante, wala man ang dalawa sa first six, basta andoon ang trust sa mga kasama, enjoy lang at team effort at mabigyan ng magandang laban ang crowd," said Davao coach Shane Alagao after a match that took two hours and 25 minutes to settle.
“Clearly kami naman ang underdog dito, ang Ateneo champion ’yan, pinakita lang namin ang best namin,” he added.
Ateneo looked in control in the fifth set as rookies Mich Morente, guest player Jhoanna Maraguinot and Jia Morado helped put up a four-point lead, 12-8.
The Lady Agilas counterattacked with a 4-0 run behind Agton and Berte to snatch the lead 14-13.
Ateneo earned a point from a Davao error and Alyssa Valdez scored on a spike to get back in the driver's seat, 15-14.
But the Lady Agilas wound up on top at the end of the tiring see-saw battle, getting the final point with a Maraguinot hit that did not cross the net.
Valdez fired 23 points for Ateneo, while Morente added 20 and Amy Ahomiro contributed 11.
"Na-scout talaga namin ang offense nila (Ateneo)," said Alagao. "Ang sabi ko sa mga bata makuha natin si Alyssa, tapos ang laban."