Alvarez earns MVP as reward for hard work
(Ang MVP) kasi hindi po siya basta-bastang makukuha eh. Kailangan mo po siyang paghirapan. Ngayon po na last year ko na po, nakakatuwa na nakuha ko na po siya -- Shola Alvarez
From a new recruit struggling to keep pace with the team’s warm-up jog, Shola Alvarez changed the volleyball culture of Jose Rizal University.
In her fifth and last season with the Lady Bombers all of Alvarez’s efforts and sacrifices for JRU paid off when she received the coveted Most Valuable Player award in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition Friday during the awarding rites at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The graduating open hitter averaged 21.3 points during the elimination round as she led the Kalentong-based squad to a first-ever Final Four appearance. JRU closed the elims with a 6-3 win-loss slate – the Lady Bombers’ best record since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008.
“(Ang MVP) kasi hindi po siya basta-bastang makukuha eh. Kailangan mo po siyang paghirapan. Ngayon po na last year ko na po, nakakatuwa na nakuha ko na po siya,” said Alvarez, whose squad fell prey to well-experienced defending champion Arellano University in straight sets in the semis.
Head coach Mia Tioseco could attest to all the hard work Alvarez put to hone and improve her game.
“Sobrang proud kami sa kanya dahil dumating siya sa amin after five minutes ayaw na mag-jog kasi hinihingal na, hinihika,” Tioseco recalled. “Now look where she is right now, as one of the top players sa NCAA. So we’re really proud of her.”
Alvarez joined other standout volleybelles during the simple awarding ceremony held before Game 1 of the Finals between the Lady Chiefs and San Beda University.
“Halu-halong emotion na po. Hindi ko na po alam kung ano ie-express ko, kung ano ang nararamdaman ko hindi ko na po alam. Sobrang saya ko,” said the bubbly Alvarez. “Sa limang taon na pinaghirapan ko, sa pinaghirapan namin ng teammates ko nakuha namin ang goal namin.”
Alvarez and teammate Dolly Verzosa will represent JRU in the beach volleyball tournament slated late February.
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