ATENEO’s Cinderella run in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference lives on.
The other night, the Lady Eagles pounced on Far Eastern University’s fourth set meltdown to post a 25-23, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23 victory and seal a second straight title showdown with National University at the Philsports Arena late Wednesday.
Connecting well with setter Jia Morado, Bea de Leon finished with 20 points, while skipper Michelle Morente was brilliant on both ends with 15 hits and 16 digs as the Lady Eagles prevailed in the best-of-three series, 2-0.
“Nagsipag sila kaya kami nanalo,” said Ateneo assistant mentor Sherwin Meneses, sitting in for coach Tai Bundit who returned to Thailand for a break.
Kim Gequillana and Ana Gopico came through with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Morado, tossed in 54 excellent sets aside from drilling in two service aces to finish with seven points.
Making their fifth championship appearance in the last six editions, the Lady Eagles hope to avenge their last year’s Finals loss to the Lady Bulldogs in the opener of the best-of-three series on Monday.
NU clipped University of the Philippines, 21-25, 25-10, 27-25, 25-21, to likewise sweep their semis playoff and advance in the title round for the fourth consecutive year.
Ateneo, also took the series’ opener, 25-14, 28-26, 25-22, last Monday, was able to overcame a lot of obstacles to make it this far in the first tournament of the post-Alyssa Valdez era.
The Lady Eagles opened the conference at 0-2, needing to win three straight do-or-die matches to advance in the quarterfinals. Ateneo also survived a knockout game against San Sebastian to march in the semifinals.