Two more PVL awards fitting send-off gifts for Espejo’s impending trip to Japan

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 15, 2018 02:30 PM
 Two more PVL awards fitting send-off gifts for Espejo
Best of the lot in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference: Johnvic de Guzman, best opposite spiker; Marck Espejo, MVP and 1st best outside spiker; Fauzi Ismail, 2nd best outside spiker; Ronchette Lee Villegas, best setter; Rence Melgar, best libero; John Paul Bugaoan, 2nd best middle blocker; and Rex Intal, 1st best middle blocker.

With an incredible haul of five UAAP season MVP awards and another seven in the Premier Volleyball League counting the Finals MVP honors as credentials, former Ateneo Blue Eagle and now Cignal top gun Marck Jesus Espejo will be leaving for the Japanese pro league last week of August.

The Ateneo AB Interdisciplinary Studies graduate who powered his alma mater to three consecutive UAAP championships will be away for nine months competing in a ballclub tournament in the country considered as one of the world’s super powers in volleyball.

“Medyo nakakatakot itong susuungin kong laban,” he acknowledged, “pero paano ko susukatin at itataas ang aking kakayanan kung aatras ako sa hamon?” 

Not for him is the contentment of one sitting on his laurels. He said he will continue to find ways to get better and better in his sport for as long as he is able.

Which is why he feels fresh excitement at every championship and special award that come his way. For him another award means another achievement and another challenge to surpass what he has achieved. 

In last year’s PVL Collegiate Conference, Espejo won as 1st best outside spiker and Conference and Finals MVP at the same time.  

Meanwhile, Espejo’s Cignal teammate Rex Intal brought home the 1st best middle blocker plum ahead of Vice Cosmetics’ John Paul Bugaoan, who was the 2017 Collegiate Conference best middle blocker.

First-ever for Villegas     

Excitement and joy overflowed in Ronchette Lee Villegas’ heart when a day before the awarding ceremony, his PLDT coach informed him of his selection as best setter, his first ever award since starting to play for the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the UAAP five years ago.    

He received his trophy in the presence of his mom and youngest brother, a high school setter in Bataan, who will both travel to wherever he is playing in Metro Manila on weekends even under the worst weather.   

Two more from the Ultra Fast Spikers apart from Villegas distinguished themselves. Johnvic de Guzman, who acts in films and conducts volleyball clinics as well, was cited as best opposite spiker while Rence Melgar was adjudged best libero.     

Fauzi Ismail was the only one from champion Philippine Air Force to garner an award as 2nd best outside spiker after Espejo.

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