MANILA – Right from the get go, it was obvious that Ateneo Lady Eagles were still on a high note after their big win against the San Sebastian Lady Stags last Saturday.
The volleybelles from Katipunan had an extra spring on their step when they played the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Monday at the 13th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference.
After a very slow start for the young Ateneo squad in the tournament, the Lady Eagles have gone through several do-or-die matches to get to the Semi-Finals. Just as they played one of the most crucial games of the season in the post-Alyssa Valdez era, the Lady Eagles scored a huge upset against top-seed Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 25-14, 28-26, 25-22.
What served as a big boost to Ateneo is the continued improvement of come-backing players Michelle Morente and Ana Gopico. Team captain Morente tallied 13 points, 16 excellent digs, and seven excellent receptions. Gopico, meanwhile, recorded 11 points, including three service aces and two crucial points to close out the first and second sets of the match.
However, it was the balanced team effort and relentless floor defense of the Lady Eagles that served as the antidote against their veteran opponents
Rising star Kim Gequillana finished with 12 points, while Katipunan skyscraper Bea de Leon scored 11 points, including the match point for Game 1.
FEU suffered a big blow in the game when they lost scoring machine Bernadeth Pons during the warm-ups due to a sudden left ankle sprain.
Game 2 of the Best-of-Three semis showdown is on Wednesday, 6pm, at the PhilSports Arena.