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‘Real Ateneo’ finally shows up

AFTER a slow start, the Ateneo Blue Eagles are starting to display their prowess in Season 86 UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. | PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEY SANCHEZ MENDOZA FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @TRIBUNEPHL_JOEY

The “real Ateneo” de Manila University finally showed up, breezing past University of the Philippines in Season 86 University Athletic Association of the Philippines women’s volleyball tournament late Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Team captain Roma Mae Doromal expressed satisfaction over their performance, saying that what they have displayed was the same kind of energy, the same kind of intensity that they are showing during practices under Brazilian mentor Sergio Veloso.

The 25-14, 25-20, 25-15 win was the Blue Eagles’ third win in nine games. But their win-loss card doesn’t reflect the kind of effort Ateneo put in as it absorbed some heartbreakers, including a five-set setback to erstwhile unbeaten University of Santo Tomas (UST) last Wednesday.

“Now, we see that this is the real Ateneo. This is how we play,” Doromal said.

“This is what we’ve been training for. This is what we’re seeing in our training that we had a hard time applying to the game,” she continued.

Right now, Ateneo is outside the Final Four picture at fifth place. It, however, can still catch up should it make a run while frontrunners UST, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University and National University struggle midway through the second round of the double-round eliminations.

Veloso, a veteran international tactician who also handles the men’s national team said they are trying their best regardless of the opponent.

“Now everybody can see how the Ateneo team plays — the level of Ateneo’s play. No matter (who) the opponent is, we always try our best,” Veloso said, adding that they are taking the tourney one match at a time.

“Not only (do) you put your focus on the Final Four, because each point is important. Each set is important.”

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