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Sports

Eagles swoop down on Bulldogs, gain No.1

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo reasserted its mastery over National University, pulling off a lopsided 25-16, 25-20, 25-17 victory yesterday to sweep its way to the semifinals and the No.1 spot in the Spikers’ Turf Season 1-Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

Joner Polvorosa made all Eagles look good with his brilliant playmaking skills, coming through with 14 excellent sets, including one when he slipped midway in the third set but still managed to hammer in a kill that highlighted the Loyola-based squad’s 66-minute demolition of its UAAP rival.

The win was Ateneo’s seventh straight, counting its sweep of the group stages, and will head as the top team in the semifinal round of the tournament presented by PLDT Home Ultera.

“We knew NU is a dangerous team so we didn’t leave anything to chance and played aggressive from start to finish,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almandro, whose wards also beat the same NU team in the UAAP finals early this year.

Marck Espejo pumped in a 12-hit game while Rex Intal added eight points, Paul Koyfman chipped in six markers and five others tossed in at least two hits to underscore the team’s balanced offensive sock.

Bryan Bagunas fired 14 hits for NU which also drew a pair of eight points from Fauzi Ismail and Francis Saura but the Bulldogs fell into a maze of errors while trying to launch their offensive and wound up with 28 miscues.

Ranged against an equally unbeaten squad, Ateneo, which beat NCBA, FEU and Emilio Aguinaldo College via similar 3-1 routs in the quarters, proved too much for the Bustillos-based school, racing to big leads early in each set then thwarting every NU fightback the rest of the way.

Despite the loss, their first after six wins, the Bulldogs still secured the No. 2 spot and will play the No. 3 team in the crossover semis.

Meanwhile, La Salle and EAC clash tomorrow for the No. 3 spot while NCBA hopes to get past UP for the fourth and last semis seat.

Earlier, St. Benilde survived a fourth set scare then outhit Far Eastern U in the decider to hack out a 17-25, 25-22, 14-25, 25-23, 17-15 victory in a duel of ousted teams in the league backed by Mikasa.

Johnvic de Guzman uncorked a 28-hit game, including four blocks and three aces, while Mark Orian, Francis Basilan and Racmade Etrone combined for 25 points as the Blazers closed out their campaign with a 2-5 slate.

The Tams, led by Greg Dolor’s 24 points, wound up with a 1-6 card.

Meanwhile, the NU-La Salle match last week will be shown on PTV 4 starting at 3:30 p.m. today while the FEU-St. Benilde clash will be telecast tomorrow, according to the organizing Sports Vision. Games are aired on a delayed basis from Monday to Friday while Saturday telecast begins at 9:15 p.m.

 

ACIRC

ATENEO

BRYAN BAGUNAS

COLLEGIATE CONFERENCE

EMILIO AGUINALDO COLLEGE

FAR EASTERN U

FAUZI ISMAIL AND FRANCIS SAURA

FRANCIS BASILAN AND RACMADE ETRONE

GREG DOLOR

LA SALLE

ST. BENILDE

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