Giant Killer Ateneo Lady Eagles marches home with the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Crown

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Before the start of the season, only few believed that the Ateneo Lady Eagles has a chance of even making it to the Finals.

But the Lady Eagles prove to doubters that they were wrong as they upset the heavily-favored La Salle Lady Archers one final time in three straight set, 25-23, 26-24, 25-21 for the UAAP Women’s Volleyball crown on Saturday.

It was one of the most amazing playoff stories in the league’s history.

The Lady Eagles lost most of its stars from the previous season,
but still  fought hard and even hurdled their fifth do-or-die game of the playoffs to deny their thrice-to-beat arch-rivals Lady Spikers a record fourth league championship.

Giant-killer Ateneo finally won their first crown and ended a 36 years drought while also avenging two previous finals setbacks at the hands of a supreme De La Salle team.

Valdez’ Brilliance

League MVP Alyssa Valdez showed why she is the Lady Eagles go-to-guy, by delivering the final nail on the coffin and scored Ateneo’s last three points including a spike that three Lady Spikers couldn’t keep in play as pandemonium broke loose inside a Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 21,314 roaring fans.

As confetti rained down from the rafters, there was shock more than joy in the faces of the Lady Eagles when the championship point was delivered as the magnitude of what they had just accomplished sunk in.

The Lady Eagles had to survive a sudden-death match against Adamson at the start of the stepladder semifinals, overcome the favored National University twice more before winning thrice against a De La Salle team that, up until the finals, had not lost in 30 games.

Valdez, the remaining member of Ateneo’s Fab Five nucleus last season, led them once again by scoring 21 points in Game Four to add the Finals MVP trophy to his league MVP award.

Rookie Michele Morente added 11 points and pint-sized Ella de Jesus added 10 for the Lady Eagles, who made the decisive move in Game Four by storming back from seven points down to win the second set.

Ara Galang, a co-MVP with Aby Marano from last season, led the Lady Spikers with 11 points, but it was her error that sucked the air out of a Lady Spikers fightback from nine points down in the third set.

The loss also denied Marano a fitting end to her college career at De La Salle. She finished with five points.

This upset by Ateneo will always be remembered in the history book of the UAAP volleyball.

— with reports from

Ed Umbao

Founder of | co-Founder of

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