In a rematch of the UAAP Mens Volleyball championship, the defending champions Ateneo continued its mastery of NU in straight sets, 25-17, 25-18, 25-19, to take Game 1 of their best-of-three series at the Spikers Turf Collegiate Conference Finals at the Arena in San Juan.
Rex Intal led Ateneo with 15 points on 7 kills and 7 blocks while Ysrael Marasigan and Spikers Turf Collegiate Conference Tournament MVP Marck Espejo backed him up with 9 points a piece.
While the trio for Ateneo showed the way in terms of scoring, Coach Oliver Almadro praised his setter Ish Polvorosa (24 excellent sets) for making their scorers look good. Coach Almadro revealed to a handful of scribes at the post-game conference that his setter almost did not make it in today’s game. “Akala namin dengue na eh. We had to rush him to the hospital last Monday” said Almadro. But upon learning that it was just a case of viral infection, Polvorosa insisted that he wanted to play earning his coach’s admiration.
The NU team was led by Bryan Bagunas with 11 points on 10 attacks and a block. Fauzi Ismail and Francis Saura both scored 9 points for NU.
Earlier, the Spikers Turf Collegiate Conference best performers were given recognition. Ateneo’s Marck Espejo bagged the MVP award as well as the 2nd Best Outside Spiker. Fellow Atenean Ysmael Marasigan was named the Best Opposite Spiker. Other awardees are EAC’s Howard Mojica (1st Best Outside Spiker) and April John Pagtalunan (Best Setter), NCBA’s Reason Fuentes (2nd Best Middle Blocker), NU’s Kim Malabunga (1st Best Middle Blocker) and Ricky Marcos (Best Libero).