MANILA -- Ateneo de Manila University overpowered Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-13, 25-20, 25-16, to snatch the last playoff spot in the 2023 Shakey's Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championship, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
All but one player scored for the Blue Eagles as they clinched the second spot in Pool D with a 2-1 win-loss record. They completed the victory in just 79 minutes, atoning for a meltdown against Far Eastern University where they wasted a two-set advantage.
Faye Sophia Nisperos, sister of former Ateneo star spiker Faith, scored all seven of her points on attacks to lead the Blue Eagles' balanced scoring. Sophia Beatriz Buena, Jennifer Delos Santos and AC Miner had six points each, while Lyann de Guzman added five.
"It's a big win but the most important is for our players trying to play within the system. It’s a new system where the players have to follow and they’re playing well within the system so far," said new Ateneo coach Sergio Veloso.
"That’s the most important. Now is the time to improve. We have an opportunity to play more."
Ateneo will progress to Pool E which also features National University, Arellano University, and University of Santo Tomas.
In the other game, Adamson completed a three-match sweep of Pool B by cruising past San Beda University, 25-14, 25-10, 25-17.
Rookie spiker Princess Aljibe fired 10 points to show the way for the Lady Falcons, who also got eight points each from Jean Jamili and Jen Villegas. Ayesha Juegos and Red Bascona added seven apiece for Adamson.
Adamson will be in Pool F along with University of the East, College of St. Benilde, and FEU.
NU, the defending champion, also swept its assignment in the last day of the elimination round with a comfortable 25-11, 25-12, 25-11 win against Jose Rizal U.
Eight players scored at least five points in NU’s barrage led by rookie Arah Ella Panique with 10 points on seven hits, two blocks and ace. Nataszha Kaye Bombita and reigning SSL MVP Alyssa Solomon added eight points each.
All the remaining eight teams will carry their elimination round record in the single-round robin playoffs within their groups starting on Oct. 14 to determine the final rankings for the crossover quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals will be a knockout format until the semifinals and the best-of-three championship showdown.