Lady Eagles rally past Warays for solo 2nd

Games Saturday
4 p.m. – Tacloban vs Pocari-Air Force
6 p.m. – Iriga-Navy vs Adamson-Akari

Ateneo-Motolite bounced back strong from a listless third set stint then banked on its tall frontline crew in the decider to frustrate Tacloban, 25-18, 19-25, 11-25, 25-17, 15-11, and wrest solo second in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference duel at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan last night.

The Lady Eagles lost control of the match after a strong start but averted a total meltdown with a big fourth set charge before foiling the Fighting Warays’ rallies to pull off a second straight five-setter and stay within striking distance of the unbeaten BanKo-Perlas (5-0) with a 5-1 mark.

It was a sorry setback for the Warays, who failed to close out the Lady Eagles in four and lost a 4-3 lead in the fifth as the Katipunan-based squad imposed its edge in ceiling behind the towering troika of Kat Tolentino, Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag to regain control at 8-5 before the technical timeout.

Tolentino unleashed a 16-hit game, including 12 kills, while De Leon added 15 markers and Madayag came through with 12 points, including five kill blocks, for Ateneo, which also subdued Adamson in five last Sunday.

Dimdim Pacres debuted for Tacloban, which fell to 2-4, with 18 points spiked by 15 attacks and three aces, but missed a number of crucial hits against the Lady Eagles’ solid net defense. Heather Guino-o added 15 markers while Anne Esguerra and Jovielyn Prado combined for 24 points.

A Madayag quick hit hiked Ateneo’s lead to four, 9-5, in the decider, but Guino-o defied three blockers and coupled with a Tacloban kill block and an Ateneo miscue, the Fighting Warays pulled within one at 8-9.

But Madayag, Ponggay Gaston and De Leon came through with three hits against Guino-o’s lone attack and the Lady Eagles stormed to another four-point lead on an Esguerra attack error before Tolentino finished off the Warays with back-to-back kill blocks on Pacres and Prado.

“We just didn’t give up,” said Gaston, who delivered six hits, including four attack points, to clinch the best player of the game honors.