The end of their fabled V-League winning streak did not mean that Ateneo’s dynasty would crumble as well.
Behind another phenom-level performance by Marck Espejo, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles pounced on the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in all three sets of Game Two of the Men’s Collegiate Conference Finals, 25-21, 25-22, 25-16, Saturday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“It’s really a blessing an opportunity from the Lord na we are ready to grab it,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro, “This is just a stepping stong and our main goal is the UAAP.”
With the Collegiate crown in the bag, Almadro became the second-ever coach in V-League history to win the triple crown. The emotional mentor had steered the Cignal HD Spikers to the top of the Reinforced and Open Conference. Roger Gorayeb was the first coach to achieve the feat back in the 2016 Season.
But Almadro should thank his aces Marck Espejo and Ish Polvorosa for the win.
Espejo tallied 20 markers on 14 points, a whopping four aces, and two blocks, while Polvorosa dished out 30 excellent sets to go along with four points.
“Ang maganda kay Marck ngayon is that he is stepping up, hindi mo na siya kailangan sabihan. Siya na ang nagsasalita sa team at ganoon din si Ish,” remarked Almadro.
And with Ateneo up 2-0, the Blue Eagles smelled blood. A 6-1 lead in the deciding set fired up the Blue Eagles. A quick attack by Gian Glorioso sent Ateneo to championship point while a service ace by Lawrence Magadian gave Ateneo its third straight championship.
Glorioso added 10 markers.
RJ Paler paced FEU with eight markers while Peter Quiel and Raymond Bautista added seven markers each.
In the first game, the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers continued to have the number of the National University Bulldogs, bucking a slow start to take a 21-25, 30-28, 28-26, 25-21 win to seal bronze medal.
Joshua Umandal and Manuel Medina powered UST with 15 markers each, while Tyrone Carodan added 14 markers.
NU were again without Bryan Bagunas and James Nativdad for the game, as they will figure in the Finals of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Beach Volleyball Finals. Madz Gampong tallied 20 markers to lead the Bulldogs.
ADMU (3) – Espejo 20, Glorioso 10, Rivera 8, Njigha 6, Polvorosa 4, Baysa 3, Medalla 3, Magadia 1, Trinidad 0, Sumanguid (L).
FEU (0) – Paler 8, Quiel 7, Bautista 7, Solis 6, Bugaoan 6, Dablo 3, Garcia 2, Suarez 1, Silang 0, Detablan 0, .
UST (3) – Umandal 15, Medina 15, Carodan 14, Buro 10, Bautista 9, Tajanlangit T 5, Sumagaysay 3, Tajanlangit J 0, Casillan 0, Sawal (L).
NU (1) – Gampong 20, Saura 16, Daymil 11, Ogoc 9, Ponti 3, Malabunga 3, Mondero 2, Ancheta 0, Dayandante 0, Marcos (L).