Ateneo de Manila University rose to solo fourth after outlasting Adamson University in a thriller, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 19-17, for its third-straight win in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament, Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Faith Nisperos beasted for the Blue Eagles with a season-high 31 points on 26 attacks, four service aces, and a block to go with 22 excellent receptions.
"We just have to play the right way kasi kapag masyado kaming tense, kapag masyado kaming nanggigigil, we tend to do some mistakes," said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. "We have to play the Ateneo way. We have to keep our fundamentals up that's the most important."
Knotted at 17 in the fifth set, back-to-back errors by Adamson allowed Ateneo to escape with the win.
"Ang main strategy namin for today ay we have to do good in everything we do. Nothing spectacular. Nothing special," said Almadro in the match that lasted 2 hours and 44 minutes.
The Blue Eagles broke their tie with the Lady Falcons and improved to 7-5, while the latter sank to 6-6.
Down 20-24 in the first set, Ateneo made four quick points to force a deuce, but an error from AC Miner paired by a Trisha Genesis score gave it to the Lady Falcons, 26-24.
But Miner responded big time in the second frame, ending it with a kill block to equalize, 25-21, before running away with a 25-19 win in the third.
However, Adamson forced a decider with a huge comeback in the fourth canto. After a Genesis error that gave the Blue Eagles a 23-22 lead, the Lady Falcon answered with back-to-back kills before Ishie Lalongisip finished it with an ace, 25-23.
Vanie Gandler added 15 points and 11 digs while Erika Raagas chipped in 14 points.
Roma Mae Doromal shone with 29 excellent receptions and 19 digs, while Jaja Maraguinot had 24 excellent sets.
The Lady Falcons were topscored by Genesis with 16 points while Aliah Marce chalked up 15 of her own. Middle blockers Lorene Toring and Rizza Cruz registered 12 points apiece.
Ateneo will meet archrival De La Salle University, which is on a four-game winning streak, on Tuesday at 4 pm. Adamson hopes to end its two-game skid at 6:30 pm against University of the Philippines. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)