Ateneo rallies to beat Adamson in 5-set thriller


Posted at Feb 02 2014 12:40 PM | Updated as of Feb 02 2014 08:40 PM

Ateneo's Alyssa Valdez (2) and Marge Tejada (10) attempt to block an attack by Adamson's Amanda Villanueva in their UAAP Season 76 game Saturday at the Arena in San Juan. Photo by Mark Cristino for

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Lady Eagles squandered a two-set lead and were down in the final set but recovered to hack out a hard-fought five-set victory over the Adamson Lady Falcons Sunday at the San Juan Arena.

Alyssa Valdez scored 26 points, while two other players scored in double digits for Ateneo, as they took a 25-23, 25-19, 16-25, 18-25, and 15-13 victory in their second round encounter of the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament.

The Lady Eagles grabbed the first two sets and looked to be on their way to repeating the three-set victory that they registered over Adamson in the first round, but succumbed to errors in the third and fourth sets as the Lady Falcons recovered.

Ateneo committed 40 errors overall, while the Lady Falcons found their rhythm behind another strong performance from veteran Shiela Pineda.

Pineda, who finished with 25 points, came up big in the fourth set while Valdez was absent for Ateneo in that frame as she struggled with leg cramps.

The Lady Falcons looked to be on their way to completing the comeback in the fifth set, leading 10-7 and again at 13-10 to take control.

But consecutive errors by Pineda and Mayette Zapanta allowed Ateneo to recover, and Valdez then blocked an attack by Faye Guevarra to give Ateneo a 14-13 lead.

It was Valdez who clinched the victory for Ateneo as well, powering a spike through the Adamson blockers for the match point.

Valdez, the league’s leading scorer, had 19 attack points to go along with four blocks and three service aces.

The win allowed Ateneo to strengthen their hold on the third spot on the league standings with their 7-4 record. Adamson dropped to 5-6 for the season.