(Photo by Chuckie Vitto/Sports Gateway PH)
The Ateneo Lady Eagles did not disappoint their huge number of followers after dispatching the NU Lady Bulldogs in quick sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14, in their debut game yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Spectators of the much-anticipated duel witnessed gritty action by the two strong teams, with Ateneo pulling a come-from-behind win after lagging by as much as five points in the first and second set.
NU opened the contest with a 2-0 start, followed by exchange of attacks from NU’s tower Jaja Santiago and Ateneo’s Bea De Leon. Three consecutive points by the Lady Bulldogs added to the distance, 15-10. But Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez powered four straight points to lift the Eagles at 21-19, while two aces from the reigning MVP sealed the deal at 25-21.
The Lady Bulldogs were on the driver’s seat again, cruising past Ateneo with a 15-10 score. Amy Ahomiro stepped-up for the Katipunan-squad with back-to-back kills, and an ace by De Leon tied the score at 16-all. NU tried to break free but errors led to their collapse, 17-19, in favor of Ateneo. Maddie Madayag scored the match point from an ace, 25-19.
The Lady Eagles made quick work of the Lady Bulldogs in the third period, setting up a 9-point cushion to leave the struggling NU in the backseat. Errors by Pablo and Singh placed Ateneo at match point, 24-14, and a block by Madayag ended the bout.
Alyssa Valdez notched 18 points, from 15 kills and three aces while game changer Maddie Madayag contributed 13 points, 5 attacks, five blocks and three aces.
Myla Pablo and Jaja Santiago each had 11 points, while the rest of the members helped with 14 points.
Ateneo will battle the UST Tigresses on Sunday, February 7 at the San Juan Arena; while NU takes on Adamson on Saturday, February 6 at the Philsports Arena.