Ateneo dominated the De La Salle Lady Spikers, 25-18 25-19 25-19, moving a step closer to their school's first back-to-back title in the sport. The Lady Eagles' top gun and reigning MVP, Alyssa Valdez, provided the scoring with 25 points while her teammates brought ample support. La Salle tried to keep it close with hustle and a load of #Puso, but the gals from Katips were just too much to handle, at least in this game.
The straight sets scoresheet though doesn't exactly reflect the fireworks provided by the fourth consecutive finals duel between the two rival teams. ICYMI, we've got a nice little, photo-filled recap for you!
Scroll down to know more about Game 1 and how Ateneo won it!
The Lady Spikers actually had the lead at the start of the set, going up 3-1 early.
But the Lady Eagles didn't want to fall behind, which made for a pretty close fight in the early goings of the set.
A 6-0 run, spearheaded by three straight points from Valdez, gave Ateneo a 13-8 lead.
It was all blue from the middle to the end of the first set. The Lady Eagles actually led by as much as seven (20-13).
With nine first set points from Valdez and a maze of errors by the Lady Spikers, Ateneo took set one, 25-18.
Wanting to turn things around, the Lady Spikers started strong in the second set.
De La Salle led early anew, 4-2, with players like Eli Soyud and Cyd Demecillo providing the points.
But just like the first set, Ateneo came roaring back. They turned up the heat, grabbing a 10-7 lead with Valdez's superb scoring.
Hep-hep, break muna! Part of the mammoth crowd was former FHM cover girl Angelica Panganiban. It's pretty obvious who she was rooting for.
Back to the recap! With Valdez's exploits and serving aces from teammates like Amy Ahomiro, Ateneo started to pile up the points in the middle of set two.
Mika Reyes tried to rally the Lady Spikers, but Ateneo's talented frontline, led by super rookie Bea De Leon, had other plans in mind.
With another point from Valdez, Ateneo won set two, 25-19.
It was Ateneo's turn to wax hot early this time, grabbing a 3-1 lead.
With role players like Michelle Morente and Ella De Jesus contributing, Ateneo was able to keep the Lady Spikers at bay at the start of the third set.
The Lady Spikers waged a comeback, scoring four straight points to knot the game at 9-all.
De La Salle tied the game again at 14-14. But that proved to be their last gasp, as Valdez's superb play and another slew of errors gave the lead to Ateneo.
It's clear that the Lady Spikers were missing the services of star player Ara Galang who was injured during their previous game against the Lady Bulldogs. Without her offense and with Ateneo's defense also rolling, the Lady Eagles maintained a three-point lead going into the final stretch of the set.
With 25 big points from Valdez, ample bench support, and its net defense clicking, Ateneo won the third set (25-19) and the match.
Ateneo may have won Game 1, but we're pretty sure the Lady Spikers still have a ton of fight in them! Game 2 is on Saturday, March 14, at the SM MOA Arena. Game time is 3 p.m., fellas!