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Ateneo sweeps elims; UST in semis

Games Tomorrow
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – FEU vs San Beda (men’s)
10 a.m. – NU vs CSB (men’s)

University of Santo Tomas overcame its erratic plays to clinch the third semifinal berth even as Ateneo swept the elimination round yesterday in the men’s division of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Tigers committed 39 errors but managed to hang on to pick up their fourth victory against three defeats.

The win enabled the España-based spikers to join defending two-time champion Ateneo and Far Eastern University in the next phase after the two squads finished in the Top 2 of their elims campaign with 7-0 and 5-1 win-loss records, respectively.

Though already qualified to the semis, Ateneo showed no mercy to National University, needing just 65 minutes to score a 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 win and complete a seven-game sweep.

Veteran spiker Marck Espejo was again spectacular, coming through with 20 kills to finish with 23 points for the Eagles.

Ateneo’s defense was rock-solid that none from NU score in twin figures with Madzlan Gampong scoring only nine points including seven attacks.

Meanwhile, Ishmael Rivera also shone for Ateneo by pouring all his six points on spikes, while Ish Polvorosa provided smart plays and finished with 29 excellent sets.

Ateneo’s win foiled NU’s bid of completing the semifinal cast as the Bulldogs dropped to 3-3 at fourth with one assignment left.

NU needed to win its last match against St. Benilde tomorrow to avoid a playoff for the No. 4 spot with La Salle (3-4).

In the other pairing, UST banked on the heroics of Joshua Umaandal, who exploded with 25 points built on 19 kills and five aces.

The Tigers practically overpowered the Blazers in attacks (50-26), blocks (7-5), and serves (8-0).

St. Benilde absorbed its sixth straight loss in as many appearances with only five players scoring in the match.

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