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Ateneo star blames errors for loss

Ateneo star Bea de Leon pointed to their erratic plays and weak defense as the factors that led to their downfall in the opening of their best-of-three title series with archrival and defending champion La Salle in the UAAP women’s volleyball Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It definitely came down to our errors,” said Ateneo middle blocker Bea De Leon. “It was a good start for us but then La Salle started coming.”

“The defense was a bit shaky. In totality, our defense was so slow, hence, the lesser outcome in attacks,” she added.

What hurt their bid the most was their lack of concentration, resulting to 34 errors and a 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20 loss – their first in three games with the Lady Spikers.

And since they were slow to react, the Lady Eagles managed only 34 kills with Jho Maraguinot and Michelle Morente leading the way.

In contrast, the Lady Spikers produced 51 kills as coach Ramil de Jesus rotated their plays smartly and effectively.

Actually La Salle had more errors with 40 but when they needed to come up with big plays they did.

Also good thing for La Salle was it produced more service aces and its defense proved too hard to crack.

The Taft-based squad actually silenced the Lady Eagles after an 18-all deadlock in the fourth frame, allowing Ateneo to only score twice at the expense on La Salle’s attack error and a crosscourt shot from Michelle Morente.

“Breaks of the game. You really can’t do anything about it. You’ll never able to blame it solely. It’s a test of character when it comes to that, so bawi na lang,” said De Leon, who scored 14 points, including three blocks and two aces.

De Leon said the defeat was a wake-up call for them and vowed to play with a sense of urgency on Saturday to extend the series into a rubber match.

“It’s a loss. We’re a bit down, but we’re still hopeful. It wasn’t the worst game we played, but we’ll bounce back, that’s for sure,” said De Leon.

Game 2 is set at the Big Dome at 4 p.m. after the awarding ceremony for individual winners.