After an inspired come-from-behind win in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 78 Finals, the odds and the momentum were tipped in favor of defending champion Ateneo.
The Lady Eagles’ chances of pulling a fast one on La Salle even shone brighter when they took an early lead in Game 3, even notching the first set via an Alyssa Valdez spiking show.
Everything started to go downhill, however, from the 2nd frame onwards as the Katipunan crew failed to capitalize on its good start, eventually yielding the match and the title in 4 sets.
Ateneo head coach Tai Bundit tried to make as much adjustments as he could but it was all in vain as his counterpart Ramil de Jesus finally avenged his sorry loss in the finals in the past 2 seasons.
Despite what happened, however, Ateneo’s confidence in Bundit remains as the institutions has revealed their desire of keeping the Thai coach’s services for Season 79.
“Coach Tai is being retained, yeah. Depende sa kanya kung how many more years. We want him to stay as coach. We talked to him about it already,” shared Ateneo’s Ricky Palou.
“Even before Game 3 we talked to him. Regardless of the outcome, we want him to stay,” he added.
Seasons 76 and 77 proved to be historic for the the Lady Eagles as they scored back-to-back titles, exposing the chinks in the armour of the mighty De La Salle squad.
The next round of collegiate volleyball action will prove to be challenging for Ateneo with veteran spikers Amy Ahomiro and Alyssa Valdez already exhausting their years of eligibility.
For Palou, Ateneo with returning players like Bea de Leon, Jia Morado and Jho Maraguinot, remains to be a contender come 2017.
“We will still fight for the championship next year. Meron din (kaming recruits). We will see how they will perform,” he closed. — By Mac Dionisio