MANILA, Philippines - University Athletic Association of the Philippines titlist Ateneo Lady Eagles shook off the rust from a long break as it smashed St. Benilde, 25-15, 25-19, 25-20, to barge into the quarterfinals of the Shakey’s V-League at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Alyssa Valdez scored 13 hits, 11 coming off attacks and two off service aces as the Lady Eagles nailed down their third win in four outings, good enough to advance to the next phase.
There, the Loyola-based lady spikers will join fellow Group A teams Arellano U (4-1) and Adamson (3-1).
The Lady Blazers, the NCAA runners up, fell to their second defeat against a win.
In the other game, the Davao Lady Agilas finally found the form, the guts and the power to nail down their first victory, a 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-22 nail-biter over a Far Eastern U side.
The Lady Agilas, composed of standouts from Ateneo de Davao, Jose Maria College, San Pedro College, University of Mindanao and Holy Cross, just clawed at the unsuspecting Lady Tams with the power-spiking May Shiel Agton spearheading the onslaught with a match best 15 hits, all coming off kills.
Venus Flores, Princess Joy Oliveros and Angel Mae Antipuesto provided the needed help as they fired 14, 11 and 10, respectively, to help push the Lady Agilas at fourth in Group B paced by reigning champion National U Lady Bulldogs, who have clinched the first of four quarterfinal slots staked in their bracket with a 4-0 (win-loss) slate.
The Santo Tomas Tigresses are currently at second with a 2-1 card while the Lady Tams absorbed their third defeat against two wins for No. 3.
After seizing the first two sets, Davao appeared headed for a straight set victory when it led by as many as four, 8-4, and then by three thrice, the last at 16-13.
But FEU, behind Bernadette Pons’ heroics, fought its way back and completely turned things around to snatch the third set, cut its deficit to a set to two and force a fourth set where it hoped to snatch another win and force a decider.