Ateneo Lady Eagles end V-League dry spell with three-set win over Perpetual
Michelle Morente and the Lady Eagles celebrate the maiden victory. Dante Peralta

ATENEO ended a winless stint at the expense of University of Perpetual Help, 27-25, 25-13, 25-16 on Monday, keeping its quarterfinals hope alive in the Shakey's V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the PhilSports Arena.

Bea de Leon made 12 points while middle blocker turned outside hitter Ana Gopico added 11 for the Lady Eagles, who improved to 1-2 while ousting the Lady Altas from the race with a third successive loss.

“We train hard every day, I think mas nagkaroon kami ng communication sa loob ng court so I think doon na magsisimula ang pagka-gel ng team that’s why maganda ang laro namin today,” said skipper Michelle Morente.

Ateneo struggled to win the opening set but slowly gathered momentum in a second set that saw the Lady Eagles pile up 12 successive points to peel off from a 12-all standoff.

There was no stopping the two-time UAAP champions in the third set where they outscored Perpetual, 16-4, in one stretch.

“There are people na hindi talaga doon sa posisyon na ‘yun, bagong posisyon lang for them so siguro naninibago lang for them kasi hindi pa namin nata-try,” said Morente.

“Alam niyo naman si coach Tai (Bundit) mahilig siya mag-experiment,” she added. “Ita-try niya kung ano ang magwo-work during games so titignan niya pa rin kung ano ang mas gagana or kung mas okay ba itong player na ‘to sa posisyon na ‘to.”

Jamie Lavitoria, who played libero in UAAP Season 78, returned to her natural position as setter and was part of the starting six for Ateneo.

Bundit fielded in Deanna Wong to replace her in the first set before the Thai mentor finally decided to play Jia Morado halfway into the second set all the way to the third.

Morado, who was suffering from fever for three days now, delivered 25 of the team’s 35 excellent sets to go with three points in the match that took an hour and 30 minutes to finish.

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Lourdes Clemente made eight points for UPH. 

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