UAAP: Ateneo pulls off comeback win vs Adamson in men’s volleyball

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2023 09:00 PM

Photo from UAAP Media Bureau
Photo from UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA – The Ateneo Blue Eagles completed a comeback against the Adamson Falcons in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament, Saturday. 

The Blue Eagles bucked a 1-2 deficit to run away with a tight 20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10 win against the Soaring Falcons at the Araneta Coliseum. 

The result extended Ateneo’s winning run to three and more importantly, allowed them to forge a tie with De La Salle University in the fourth spot with a 5-4 card. 

Meanwhile, the Falcons stayed in seventh spot with a 1-8 record.

Jian Salarzon steered the Blue Eagles with 22 points while Amil Pacinio and Kennedy Batas contributed 19 and 18 points, respectively.

“I have to give credit to Adamson. Talagang tyinaga nila kami. Grabe yung depensa. Kahit inaatake namin sila ng malakas, they are really patient. Yung mga players naman namin, they didn't give up. They were able to adjust dun sa mga instructions na binigay sa kanila,” head coach Timmy Sto. Tomas said. 

Ateneo held on in the fourth frame as they erected a 20-16 lead after a dump ball of Kennedy Batas. But Adamson rallied back capped by Joshua Magalaman’s quick, 20-21. 

Salarzon would go for a down-the-line kill to put Ateneo at set point, 24-22. Evander Novillo saved one set point with a kill but Pacinio forced a deciding frame after an off-the-block kill. 

Ateneo carried the momentum in the fifth with a 5-2 start as Salarzon hammered another spike. But the Falcons tried to keep their opponents at bay with Francis Casas going for a through-the-block spike, 8-9. 

Ateneo went for a 5-0 spurt from a 10-9 lead – thanks to Adamson errors – to establish a separation for good, 14-9. Salarzon fittingly ended the game with a furious spike. 

Novillo tallied 22 points while Casas added 18 markers.