UAAP: Green Spikers clip the wings of the Blue Eagles, grind out three-set win

The Green Spikers came out victorious in their Ateneo-La Salle rivalry match in straight sets, 25-18, 33-31, 25-22, in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Volleyball tournament held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena earlier today. 

Tallying another triumph in the court, wing spiker Noel Kampton led the scoring with 17 points—14 attacks, 15 receptions, two blocks, and an ace. John Mark Ronquillo, Billie Anima, and Vince Maglinao also reached the double-digit marker. Ronquillo and Anima each tallied 13 points while the La Salle team captain chipped in 11. 

Open hitter Jian Salarzon shepherded the Blue Eagles with 14 points, 10 of which came from spikes, while Kennedy Batas and Canciano Llenos also aided Ateneo with 13 and 10 points, respectively. 

Head start

Coming off a superb 13-point performance, Kampton started aggressively with back-to-back points to kick off the match with a monster block and middle play. The explosive wing spiker further displayed dominance with a cross-court shot to take a three-point lead, 4-1.  Batas answered with an emphatic kill from the opposite side, but the momentum quickly shifted back to the Taft-based squad after a service error was committed by Charles Absin. The Green Spikers showed no sign of backing down as they created a six-point separation over their rivals in the opening frame, with Anima punching it to the pavement to reach the first technical timeout, 8-2. 

The Blue Eagles were able to cut the lead down to three after a variation of attacks from Jettlee Gopio, Batas, and Salarzon. However, a pipe attack from Ronquillo and a down-the-line hit forced Ateneo to a timeout, 11-6. The spikers from Taft were able to maintain the upper hand against the Eagles as Kampton executed two straight points to send both sides into the second technical timeout, 16-8. Ronquillo tallied three more points in the latter part of the set to bring the Green and White closer to set point, 20-15. The two teams went on to exchange points, but ace Kampton displayed his hot hand and ended the rivalry’s first salvo with an open hit, 25-18. 

Momentum swing

DLSU scored first in the second set from Ateneo’s attack error. Early on, the team from Taft managed to keep the score close as both sides struggled to maintain their defense. Keeping control of the two-point deficit, Del Pilar managed to score from a power tip, 16-14, after the second technical timeout.

Intense rallies took place in the set as momentum swung between each side. A crucial service error from Kampton tied the game at 23-all. The Green Spikers had trouble dealing with Ateneo’s offensive plays and multiple deuces as a battle for the set transpired. Capitalizing on Ateneo’s attack error finally put DLSU at match point, but it was a block from Anima that captured the set for the Green Spikers, 33-31.

Another comeback

The scoring pattern from the previous set lingered as Ateneo was eager to win the set and extend the match. Despite trailing early in the first set, unforced errors from the side of Ateneo gave La Salle the upper hand. Two consecutive attacks from DLSU were launched to rack up on their score and take the lead, 22-21. Following through, the team from Taft showed grit and determination to work on each point one play at a time. 

Veteran player Anima shared how there was no pressure for him as he already experienced the rivalry. He further said he took on responsibilities inside the court, bolstering his young teammates.

For DLSU Head Coach Arnold Laniog, he emphasized how his team should work with no rush to be able to focus only on their plays and to get one point at a time to win, “Importante na nakatutok tayo sa trabaho natin inside the court.”

(It’s important that we’re focused on what we have to do inside the court.)

Coming off back-to-back wins, the DLSU Green Spikers hope to carry on their momentum as they clash against the UE Red Warriors at 2 pm on March 8, Wednesday, at the PhilSports Pasig Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU 3 – Kampton 17, Anima 13, Ronquillo 13, Maglinao 11, Del Pilar 4, Serrano 1

ADMU 0 – Salarzon 14, Batas 13, Llenos 10, Absin 4, Gopio 4, Crisostomo 1, Licauco 1, Sendon 1

Set Scores: 25-18, 33-31, 25-22

Ysa Bakabak

By Ysa Bakabak

Zedi Perez

By Zedi Perez

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