Valdez back in harness as Lady Eagles win
Games on July 25
12:45 p.m. – Arellano vs NU
3 p.m. – FEU vs PUP
5 p.m. – SSC vs TIP
Alyssa Valdez suited up late in the match and Ateneo soared past a hapless San Sebastian side, 25-17, 25-13, 25-21, Sunday to post its second straight victory for a share of the Group B lead with St. Benilde in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12-Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Valdez, who sat out the team’s four-set win over UST last week for a much-needed rest following a hectic summer campaign, came in only in the third set and fired five hits, helping cap the reigning UAAP champions’ 71-minute romp over the undermanned former many-time NCAA titlists in the event sponsored by Shakey’s and presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
Jhoanna Maraguinot, who starred in Ateneo’s 25-11, 27-25, 19-25, 25-20 triumph over UST, unloaded a match-best 13 hits, including 10 on spikes and two on blocks while Kim Gequillana scattered 11 markers.
But it was Valdez’s return that highlighted the Lady Eagles’ rout of the Lady Stags, who fell to their second straight defeat in the mid-season tournament of the league backed by Mikasa and Accel and organized by Sports Vision.
Ateneo coach Tai Bundit was supposed to give Valdez an extended rest but apparently had a change of heart following the continued sidelining of Fil-Canadian rookie Kat Tolentino, who suffered a season-ending ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury during warm ups in the league opener last week.
Ella de Jesus, a former spiker converted into a libero this conference, was also a late scratch with an eye infection although Jamie Lavitoria has stepped up in her absence.
San Sebastian continued to play top spiker Gretchel Soltones as libero after the SEAG and Asian Under-23 Championship veteran suffered a shoulder tear in Singapore last month.
Soltones alternated with Alyssa Eroa but the Lady Stags have missed her power spikes and big serves with Denice Lim and Jolina Labiano forced to take the cudgels and fired nine hits apiece.
Ateneo thus matched St. Benilde’s 2-0 record after the Lady Blazers foiled the Technological Institute of the Philippines Lady Engineers, 25-15, 25-21, 19-25, 25-22, last Saturday.
University of the Philippines, meanwhile, dealt Polytechnic University of the Philippines its second straight defeat via a lopsided 25-15, 25-14, 25-13 victory, also late Saturday, to even its card to 1-1 in Group A.
National U seized the solo lead in Group with a 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 win over University of Batangas with Jaja Santiago unleashing a 23-hit game and Myla Pablo backing her up with 13 markers.
So outclassed were the Lady Brahmans, who could only score 16 spikes against the Lady Bulldogs superb floor and net defense. With Santiago on the firing end, NU produced 43 kills en route to a follow-up to its four-set win over UP last week.
UB, led by Krissa Madalogdog and Kimberly Jamilla’s combined 10 hits, joined Polytechnic University of the Philippines in the cellar with 0-2 marks.
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