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Ateneo-NU II looms

If they stay the course, Ateneo and National U are headed for another face-off for the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference crown.

The Eagles and the Bulldogs have hurdled their first two games in emphatic fashions and are looking mean and fierce as they step up their respective bids in the short tournament where every game counts.

Only the top two teams from each group of six after the single round robin elims will advance to the crossover semis, making each match important.

Ateneo, which swept NU to clinch the inaugural crown last year, toppled San Beda in three and needed an extra set to repulse another title contender Emilio Aguinaldo College in Group B.

The Bulldogs turned in a more impressive start, routing the Far Eastern U Tams and the Philippine Merchant Marine School side in three sets to pace Group A. Perpetual Help has also posted a 2-0 start to share the lead with NU while La Salle and FEU tote identical 1-1 slates and St. Benilde and PMMS have a lot of catching up to do with 0-2 marks.

In Group B, Ateneo actually shares the lead with the equally hot-starting University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines with EAC and National College of Business and Arts, last year’s third and fourth placers, respectively, and EAC down with 0-2 slates.

While Ateneo dominated its first two rivals, UST and UP beat their opening game foes the easy way but went through a wringer next with the Tigers repulsing the Lions, 25-14, 24-26, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13, and the Maroons also escaping with a 25-12, 27-25, 23-25, 25-27, 15-13 decision over the NCBA Wildcats.

The Eagles, bannered by Marck Espejo, Rex Intal and Paul Koyfman, set out against the Wildcats tomorrow while the Bulldogs, led by Madzlan Gampong, Francis Saura and Bryan Bagunas, gear up for a tough outing against the Archers on Monday, both looking for another win and closer to another semis stint in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

Meanwhile, all Game 2 matches of the Spikers’ Turf can be viewed live via streaming on www.abs-cbn.sports.com, according to the organizing Sports Vision.