UAAP: Ateneo beats La Salle to secure top seed, sets up Final Four date with FEU

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Courtesy of Joaqui Flores

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) — At the end of the elimination round, the Ateneo Lady Eagles are a cut above the rest.

The Lady Eagles locked up the top seed in University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 after getting the better of archrivals La Salle Lady Spikers, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19, on Saturday evening at the Big Dome.

Mich Morente and Bea De Leon paced the Lady Eagles with 14 markers each.

The Lasallians rushed out to a 16-9 lead in the opening frame as they immediately put their rivals on notice. Ateneo could not stem the green tide, as it dropped the first set, 12-25.

Ateneo immediately became more competitive as they were able to keep pace with La Salle to make it 18-all late in the second frame.

The Katipunan-based squad would even things up after claiming the second set, 25-20.

Despite the absence of Jho Maraguinot, who was rested for the game, the Lady Eagles battled their rivals to a 20-all stalemate in the third set before taking over to win the frame, 25-21.

Ateneo broke through in the fourth set using an irresistible 8-2 spurt to seal the top seed.

Kim Kianna Dy led La Salle with 15 points.

After the game, Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses said that finishing on top of the standings is a great boost ahead of the Final Four stage.

Siyempre malaking achievement sa team,” Meneses said. “Yung performance nila sa eliminations ay maganda, para pagdating sa semis mataas yung morale nila.”

[Translation: Of course it's a big achievement for the team. Their performance in the eliminations is good, so that their morale is high when get to the semis.]

Ateneo will face the fourth seeded FEU Lady Tamaraws in the semis, while La Salle will play the third seeded UST Golden Tigresses.