September 24, 2023

DLSU shoots down Ateneo, reaches men's finals

De La Salle University turned what was expected to be a dogfight into a virtual cruise as it crushed Ateneo, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19, to cap its remarkable comeback in their semis series and clinch the other finals berth in the V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge at the Paco Arena in Manila on Sunday.


Skipper JM Ronquillo unloaded a 16-point game while playmaker Simon Encarnacion kept the team’s offense humming all-game, producing a 16-excellent set performance as the Blue Eagles kept the momentum of their 25-21, 25-21, 25-21 win in Game Two last Friday to earn the right to face the UST side for the crown.

Game One of the title series, also a best-of-three affair, is set on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
"I think what worked was 'yung teamwork. Tingin ko 'yun 'yung key sa amin. If we work together, maganda 'yung magiging result," said DLSU acting coach Jose Roque.
The Green Spikers also pounced on the absence of Ateneo top hitter Jian Salarzon due to health concerns as they went ahead at 20-15 in the third with Ronquillo standing at the forefront of the team’s attack while the rest backed him up with a gritty net and floor defense to frustrate Ken Batas and the rest of the Blue Eagles, who took the series’ opener in five sets.

With Salarzon out, Batas and Amil Pacinio tried to rally the Blue Eagles but could only finish with nine and six points, respectively.
Ateneo and Far Eastern U will dispute the bronze medal.