MANILA – The Ateneo Blue Eagles kicked off their second round campaign on a high note as they trampled the UE Lady Warriors in four sets on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
After struggling in the first half of the eliminations that led to their worst start in 13 years, the Blue Eagles are taking the win against UE as a confidence-builder as they hope to catch up in the standings.
So far, Ateneo is at sixth place with a 3-5 win-loss card, just outside the Final Four spots.
“I think this is a very good confidence-builder for the team kasi nga, coming from an unexpected Round 1, I think right now we can start on a better, I don't know, path I guess,” Joan Narit said after finishing with nine points vs UE.
For team captain Faith Nisperos, who paced the Blue Eagles yet again with 18 points, the victory is product of their desire to win and improve in the second round of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
“The second round is every win matters but what matters more is yung performance namin as a team and how much our desire to win, to get that win for this second round and starting on a high note,” Nisperos said.
“I think it's the product of the everyday learning and training na ginagawa namin and of course, in every training, lagi kaming nacha-challenge to push hard and to reach our limits. So yun lang naman.”
Meanwhile, head coach Oliver Almadro is taking all the wins they can regardless if it's in straight sets or via extension.
“Well, of course, we're happy na nanalo and ang importante lang talaga, put up the confidence. Nagkakaron parin ng time na nagdodoubt kami about what we want to do, what we need to do, but what's important is we win. So three sets, four sets, five sets, we'll take the win lalo na ngayon, second round. What's important is the wins,” Almadro said.
Ateneo will put their two-game winning streak at stake when they face the second-running Adamson Lady Falcons on April 1.
UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.