The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Spikers suffered a straight-set defeat from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 23-25, 22-25, 15-25, last Sunday, February 17, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle jumped off to a quick 4-1 lead in the first set over the Season 80 runners up. The Green Spikers kept held on to their lead, 8-5, entering the first technical timeout. Wayne Marco then extended it to five, 11-6, with a denial on the Blue Eagles. However, returning Geraint Bacon committed back-to-back errors as Ateneo pulled to within two, 10-12. Another defensive stop by the Blue Eagles knotted the set at 15-all, before they eventually overtook the Green Spikers, 16-15, at the second break. It was a nip-and-tuck affair until late in the set as Gian de Jesus tied things up at 23-all with an ace. Unfortunately, Antony Koyfman claimed the first period for his team.
The Katipunan-based squad continued to ride on their momentum as the Blue Eagles started the second frame on fire. They took advantage of the errors of La Salle, who trailed at the first technical timeout, 3-8. Crosscourt hits and defensive stops by Bacon kept his team within striking distance, 10-13. Another Ateneo error pulled the Taft-based squad to just two points behind, 13-15. The Green Spikers remained behind until 19-21, before the much experienced Ateneo squad pulled away to take the set.
In hopes to keep themselves alive in the game, La Salle turned things around to start the third set. Led by team captain Cris Dumago, Head Coach Arnold Laniog’s boys opened an 8-3 tear. However, the Blue Eagles, led by Koyfman and Chumason Njigha, then unleashed a vicious 16-2 run to flip the tables to their favor. In an unbelievable series of events, what was once a five-point deficit became a nine-point cushion for La Salle’s archrivals. The Green Spikers never came back after trailing by as much as 10, 14-24, late in the set.
Dumago was the lone bright spot for his team, tallying 12 points on 10 attacks and two aces. Bacon, who did not play last season, logged seven attacks in his UAAP return.
On the other hand, three Blue Eagles finished in double figures with Koyfman leading with 15.
The DLSU Green Spikers will try to get their first win of the season when they face Adamson on Saturday, February 23, 10 AM at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
DLSU (60) – Dumago 12, Bacon 8, Anima 7, Reyes 6, Delos Reyes 5, Marco 2, De Jesus 1.
ADMU (75) – Koyfman 15, Njigha 10, Rivera 10, Medalla 9, Glorioso 7, Magadia 1.