ATENEO leaned on its power game to beat Far Eastern University, scoring a 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 victory yesterday to move a win from retaining the men’s crown in the PVL Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Gian Glorioso and Marck Espejo combined for a 29-hit game as the Blue Eagles produced 44 kills, 13 more than the Tamaraws, in the victory that sent them on the cusp of winning for the third straight time.
Later, reigning NCAA women’s champion Arellano University downed Adamson, 25-23, 26-24, 25-14, to move within a win of capturing its best-ever finish in the league.
The Lady Chiefs shoot for the bronze medal in Game 2 slated on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Ateneo goes for the clincher at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with coach Oliver Almadro bracing for a difficult battle to close out the best-of-three series.
“They (FEU) live and die with their energy and intensity. I just told my players that we have to match that and that’s when we were able to play better. They (FEU) were forcing fast plays on us but through little rallies, we’re able to recover,” said Almadro.
Glorioso led the three-time UAAP champions with 15 points while Espejo finished with 14 points, including 11 attacks, two aces and a block on top of 12 excellent receptions and five digs to boot.
The Tamaraws actually kept the game close in each set, using fast plays to disrupt the defense of the Eagles, who were able to adjust in time to neutralize the Morayta-based squad.
JP Bugaoan finished with 13 points while RJ Paler got 11 markers for FEU, which swept National University in the semis.
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas wore down NU in a gripping five-setter, 17-25, 28-26, 20-25, 25-21, 27-25, to seize the lead in their side of the best-of-three series for the bronze medal.