MANILA, Philippines – UAAP champion Ateneo turned back Emilio Aguinaldo, while NCAA titlist Perpetual Help overcame De La Salle, on Saturday to take the lead in their respective divisions in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference.
Ateneo bucked a stunning loss in the second set en route to a 25-23, 26-28, 25-20, 25-17 win at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City, with Marck Espejo, Rex Intal, and Joshua Villanueva combining to repulse the tough Generals.
It was Ateneo’s second consecutive victory, following a 25-19, 25-23, 25-16 win over the San Beda Red Spikers last Wednesday.
Espejo, Intal and Villanueva combined for 42 hits, with Ish Polvorosa providing super play-making as he dished out 52 excellent sets to go along with four hits. Ateneo took the lead in Group B with a 2-0 win-loss record.
“We have to keep playing aggressively every game, for us to have a chance of winning again,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.
Perpetual Help, for its part, also took a 2-0 lead in Group A after a 25-20, 25-15, 19-25, 14-25, 15-12 over the Green Spikers.
Thanks to its balanced attack, Perpetual took the first two sets, only to stumble in the face of the Green Spikers’ comeback in the next two sets.
However, the Altas recovered in time, and proved to be the steadier team in the tense fifth set.
The difficult five-set win followed Perpetual Help’s 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 victory over newcomer Philippine Merchant Marine School last Wednesday.
Rey Taneo led Perpetual Help with 16 hits, 13 of which came on kills, while brother Relan, Manuel Doliente, and John Patrick Ramos chipped in 12, 11, and 11 points, respectively.
Woo scored 27 points, the bulk of which came in the third and fourth sets. But the Taneo brothers took over in the fifth, and came through with clutch hits to lift the Altas to victory.
La Salle, which turned back to St. Benilde, 25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, last week, fell to 1-1.
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