UAAP volleyball: Ateneo, La Salle open men’s campaign with wins

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La Salle Green Spikers’ Vince Maglinao in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/INQURIER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo and La Salle kicked off their respective UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball campaigns with separate victories on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Green Spikers leaned on the potent combo of Noel Kampton and JM Ronquillo to overcome the Adamson Falcons, 25-22, 25-23, 26-24.

Kampton fired 19 points built on 15 attacks, two blocks and two aces to lead the way for La Salle, which fought back from a 23-24 deficit in the third set. Vince Maglinao came to the rescue to force a deuce before Billie Anima’s block lifted them to the match point, 25-24.

Kampton nailed the game-winning off-the-block hit to end the game in an hour and 23 minutes, as Ronquillo chipped in 18 points. Setter Diogenes Poquita had 15 excellent sets, while libero Menard Guerrero protected the floor with 13 digs and 13 excellent receptions.

“I think they weren’t pressured in the end game. They communicated and trusted each other that’s why we got a good outcome,” said La Salle coach Jose Roque in Filipino. “We’re just prepared for this kind of situation. But we still have a lot to polish and lapses to address.”

Joel Menor led Adamson with 12 points, while Kenneth Paulino and  John Gay added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP men's

Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament. –UAAP Pzhoto

Meanwhile, Ken Batas poured in 22 points off 19 attacks, two blocks and an ace as Ateneo overcame a second set defeat before beating University of the East, 25-16, 22-25, 25-15, 25-14.

Matthew Salarzon also stepped up for the Blue Eagles with 15 points built on 12 attacks, two blocks, and an ace on top of 11 excellent receptions. Cyrus De Guzman and Nigerian rookie Aimar Okeke made impressive UAAP debuts with 11 points each.

“We’re very excited since we’re playing first, and also at the same time, we’re a bit scared because we might have first-game jitters,” said Ateneo coach Timmy Sto. Tomas. “Hopefully, we can get more prepared in our next few games so that we won’t be able to feel any more jitters.”

Joshua Pozas was the lone double-digit scorer for UE with 13 points.



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