PVL Finals: ‘Atin ‘to, atin 'to’ is the new UP Ikot

Mark Escarlote on Sep 12, 2018 11:43 PM
PVL Finals: ‘Atin ‘to, atin 'to’ is the new UP Ikot
University of the Philippines made history after winning the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference behind their 'Atin 'to, atin 'to' mantra.

Last year, Paul Desiderio shouted ‘Atin ‘to!’ during University of the Philippines’ last huddle in a UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball game.

After that, Desiderio sank the game-winning buzzer-beating triple to down University of Sto. Tomas.

It has since been the battle cry of the Diliman-based student-athletes.

On Wednesday, the Lady Maroons did their own version that morale-boosting mantra.

Down 7-13 in the pivotal stretch of the fifth set, the words again echoed in UP’s huddle up until they marched back inside the court.         

“Atin ‘to, atin ‘to!”

Like a shot of adrenaline, the Lady Maroons charged with renewed energy.

Afterwards, they made history.

UP completed a sweet sweep of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference best-of-three Finals series, 25-20, 25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13, to hoist its first major title in 36 years at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Nu’ng nagsimula pa lang ‘yung fifth set we talked na how much do we want to win and in order for us to actually get the championship title,” said veteran setter Ayel Estranero, whose ace, which landed like a dagger right at the middle of the stunned Lady Tamaraws, sealed the championship that eluded UP in almost four decades.

“Kailangan namin gustuhin lahat kami,” added Estranero, whose squad won the series opener also in five sets. “‘That’s why everyone actually never gave up until the end.”

Estranero and Isa Molde, who collected the conference and Finals Most Valuable Player as well as the 1st Best Outside Spiker, took matters on their own hands in that closing stretch as they scored six of the last eight points.   

But the duo was quick to give credit to the collective effort of the whole team.

“Kita naman e,” said Estranero.

“Atin ‘to, atin ‘to,” Molde butted in during the postgame interview where the two joined head coach Godfrey Okumu.

“Yeah, atin ‘to, atin ‘to. Di kami makakapalo talaga kung walang dumepensa or di ako maka-set ng walang dumepensa so until the end it was still a collective effort from everyone from the coaches and the players even those in the bench,” Estranero pointed out.

“So ‘yun pero siyempre andun din yung conscious effort na gugustuhin mo talaga and you’ll do whatever it takes,” added Estranero.

When the playmaker trooped behind the service line – UP at championship point – Estranero murmured a little prayer.   

“When I was serving I was just actually praying and I just actually believed that the team can actually win despite na sobrang haba ng hinabol namin. Kahit ang layo ng score namin but then na-feel namin sa loob na hindi pa kami talaga susuko that everyone is still willing to fight,” she recalled. 

“So ‘yun nu’ng nag-serve ako hindi ako kinakabahan as in I just really want to win for the team and for everyone,” Estranero added.

When she made the connection on her serve, the ball flew in at a low arching trajectory.

“Gulat ako kasi I mean like hindi ko naman totally alam ano mangyayari sa bola pag release ko,” said Estranero.

It was supposed to be a sure reception from FEU's libero.

But like having their feet cemented on the taraflex floor, FEU libero Buding Duremdes and the rest of the Lady Tams just froze.

“But when I saw the ball dropped and touch the floor, it was just so overwhelming,” said Estranero.

Estranero rolled and then sprawled on the floor face down after the final whistle, slamming her hand on the court.

Her teammates were already crying, shouting, hugging and congratulating each other as they round inside the court after completing their conquest.

Confetti slowly fell.

History made.

“Atin ‘to, atin ‘to.”

UP owned the night.

 

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