The Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles defeated the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in dominant fashion, 25-12, 25-13, 25-16, to get the first seat in the championship round in UAAP Men’s division on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Fighting Maroons offered little to no resistance against the Blue Eagles in the first two sets as they trailed by double digits. They put more of a fight in the third set, but Ateneo flexed its offensive muscle to shut the door on UP. Ateneo even had the luxury of fielding in bench players in the latter part of the first two sets.
Two-time MVP Marck Espejo led the way for the Blue Eagles with 12 points, while team captain Ysay Marasigan added 11. Ateneo dominated UP in all aspects of the game, especially in attack points.
The Blue Eagles pounded the defense of the Fighting Maroons with 39 attacks. UP was only able to convert 17 attack points. Nobody from UP finished in double figures. Only skipper Alfred Valbuena and open hitter Wendel Miguel carried the fight for UP with eight and seven markers, respectively.
Ateneo will face the victor of the National University and Adamson series. Ateneo is gunning for a two-peat after three appearances in the finals.