La Salle sweeps Ateneo in Game 1

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De La Salle University dominated reigning champion Ateneo De Manila University 25-20, 25-22, 25- 21 in Game 1 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball championship round on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

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Kim Dy led La Salle with 15 points including 11 kills while Mikee Reyes finished with 13 points and six blocks to lead La Salle. Mary Joy Baron and Ara Galang added 10 points apiece for the Lady Spikers.

“We practiced very hard our blocking and it worked,” said La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus during the postgame interview.

“We can’t be satisfied with one win. We need to win the next game,” added Galang.

Game 2 is set on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Alyssa Valdez led Ateneo with 15 kills, one service ace and a block for 17 points.

Though initially down by three points, the Lady Spikers banked on their solid defense to foil Ateneo’s six attempts en route to a 25-23 first set win.

Ateneo briefly grabbed the lead in the second set but was beaten anew by La Salle in the second and third sets through smothering defense.

In the men’s finals, defending champion Ateneo De Manila University scored a 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-18 victory over National University (NU) through Marck Jesus Espejo’s explosive performance.

After being defeated in the first set by the Bulldogs, the Blue Eagles retaliated in the last three sets to extend their winning run to 13. Ateneo now just needs one more win in Game 2 on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Espejo posted 18 kills for 21 points to lead Ateneo while Rex Intal added 11 kills plus two blocks for 13 points. Wilson Marasigan tallied 12 points also for the Blue Eagles.

“NU is a strong team. It is really good that the players played well and we recovered just in time,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “My players are all very determined. It is good that we’ve won this game.”

The Bulldogs, under the tutelage of former Adamson star Dante Alinsunurin absorbed a total of 29 errors. Kim Malabunga and Ruben Baysac posted 13 points while James Natividad and Madz Gampong had 12 points apiece for NU.

Setter Ysh Polvorosa, who contributed seven points, delivered 58 of Ateneo’s 59 excellent sets to outshine Vincent Mangalubnan, who was responsible for 52 of NU’s 56 excellent sets.

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