(Philsports Arena, Pasig City)
10 a.m. – La Salle vs UST (m/3rd)
12 noon – Ateneo vs NU (m/finals)
Ateneo needs 5 sets vs NU in Game 1.
Ateneo reaffirmed its mastery over National University with a hard-earned 16-25, 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11 victory yesterday to move a win away from retaining its title in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The defending champion Eagles turned to reigning MVP Marck Espejo and veteran Rex Intal to do the offensive damage as the dynamic duo combined with 32 attacks in Game 1 of their best-of-three championship series.
Espejo, an outside spiker, walloped 18 kills to finish with 20 points, while Intal peppered with 14 spikes to contribute 16 for Ateneo, which remained flawless since the start of the conference.
It was the Eagles’ seventh straight triumph in the conference and are eyeing a historic title sweep in Game 2 set on Saturday.
Ateneo also got ample reinforcements from 6-foot-8 Tony Koyfman and Joshua Villanueva, who tallied 12 points apiece, as well as skipper Karl Baysa, who chipped in 11 points.
The Eagles were unstoppable at the attack zone by firing 66 kills, despite the Bulldogs managing 11 blocks.
NU’s 44 whopping errors, however, contributed to its downfall.
Bryan Bagunas and Kim Malabunga topscored for the Bulldogs with 17 and 12 points, respectively, but they needed to double their efforts in the crucial next game to keep their title bid alive.
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas swept La Salle, 25-15, 25-18, 25-23, to also draw the first blood in their best-of-three affair for third place.