The Ateneo Blue Eagles successfully defended their title in the men’s volleyball championship with a dominant win over National University, 25-16, 25-20, 25-19, on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Blue Eagles made quick work of the young NU squad behind graduating team captain Ysay Marasigan and newly-minted most valuable player Marck Espejo. Marasigan top scored for Ateneo with 12 points and was selected as the finals MVP. Espejo, on the other hand, contributed 11 markers including the title-clinching spike. Teammate Josh Villanueva also had 11 points in the game.
Ateneo displayed game-long brilliance on offense and defense to overwhelm the inexperienced NU side. As a result, no Bulldogs scored in double digits. Rookie of the Year James Natividad led NU with 8 points.
Ateneo won their first title in Season 77 against NU, avenging a runner-up finish in Season 76 with the same squad. The Blue Eagles only suffered one loss in the entire season against Adamson, ending the elimination round with a 13-1 slate. They marched into the finals by defeating the UP Fighting Maroons in the semis and took Game One of the finals against NU, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-18 last Saturday.