Yesterday was another great day for an Ateneo Lady Eagles fan like me. It was an amazing upset on the La Salle side and I’m really loving it. I still can’t get over from that UAAP 76 Volleyball Finals Game 1 showdown between the Ateneo Lady Eagles and the De La Salle Lady Spikers so I’m pouring my heart out in this blog.
What more can I say? It was one of the best games played by the Lady Eagles, not because they have finally put a halt to the Lady Spikers’ 13 game winning streak this UAAP Season 76 but because yet again, they have showed how big of a threat they are as a team if every one is playing well. I’m talking about Alyssa Valdez, Ella De Jesus, Michelle Morente, Amy Ahomiro, Den Den Lazaro, Jia Morado and even Aeriel Patnongon.
The Phenom. Team Captain. Ms Volleyball Philippines. Alyssa Valdez. Yes, there can only be one Alyssa Valdez in the Philippines and in the world of Volleyball. She may have a couple of errors from attacks and serves yesterday, but still the points she got were more than enough to help the team bounce back from their 12-25 loss in the 1st set against their archenemies in volleyball. If I’m not mistaken she contributed at least 10 points for yesterday’s match.
The Elevator. Ella De Jesus. Man, she played like a 6 footer against La Salle. Blocking Abi Marano not once but twice, she showed that with hard work, you can achieve even what people may see as impossible. And not to mention her close to perfection serves during the 3rd set which made it hard for La Salle to come up with decent attacks for at least thrice in a row. She has been playing for the Lady Eagles for at least three years now if I’m not mistaken and she never fails to show the team and the fans what kind of an athlete she is- she may be small small but when in plays, she’s like a dominant giant out there.
Gatorade Player of the Game. Michelle Morente.Wow! This girl really has something to say! No wonder she was recruited by the former Lady Eagles Coach Roger Gorayeb. Though her attacks were prone to netblocks, she’s the girl who doesn’t know how to give up even with the tall blockers in front of her. I called her the Through-the-Block specialist in yesterday’s game because she always finds a way to penetrate La Salle’s strong blockers and clinch a point for her team. I also love the energy that she brings on court every time she plays.
The X Factor. Amy Ahomiro. For me, she is indeed the X Factor in the Ateneo team. She may not be producing that much points in every game, but her presence completes the great team that is in the Ateneo Lady Eagles. She knows how to make a statement from those middle hits and impeccable services. She is a genius. Knowing how to target an opponent in her serves is not an easy thing to do and not to mention how perfect of a floater her serves are. You just can’t learn those moves alone, that’s talent right there.
The Best Receiver and Best Digger of UAAP 76. Den Den Lazaro. We all saw how much Lazaro has improved for this season. Yesterday’s game was just one of the many games in which she showed how dominant she is when it comes to defense. She is just literally all over the Ateneo court. Those pancake saves from her and perfect digs are major factors in the Lady Eagles’ 8 game winning streak.
The Next Best Setter. You gotta watch out for this girl, Jia Morado. In every game, she played like no rookie, very composed and very smart in her sets. I like how she allows her spikers to redeem themselves every time they make a faulty play. I love how she dives for the 2nd ball and make sure it is delivered well to her attackers even if it’s just an underhand set. And she can defend well too.
The Potential Best Blocker. Aerieal Patnongon. Her middle hits were weak and readable but I must say her presence in the middle is working for the Ateneo Lady Eagles. Gotta commend her as well when it comes to her serves. She is someone that the Lady Eagles can count on when it comes to good serves.
Wow! What a game it was! I am still in awe actually. Highlights of yesterday’s game keep on playing in my mind. And oh, Coach Tai! Gotta give props to him as well. 😀
*Photo credits to owner