17 UAAP women’s volleyball darlings to watch in 2016
Barry Viloria on Dec 20, 2015 05:06 PM
Excited to see these hit girls play next season? We know we are! (Photo by Barry Viloria)
True, the first half of #UAAPSeason78 might have ended but there’s more to be excited about come second half. Among the other obviously booming sports lined up starting January is women’s volleyball—and we all know how the event has had us worked up in recent years, courtesy of some fierce young ladies who have become the standard of the expression, “Damn, you hit like a girl!”
This coming volleyball season, we see no shortage of these lady athletes, who are as interesting when they've stripped off their jerseys. Here, get to know some of those who are making us wish the holidays would go by sooner! (Note: On January 30, we’re scheduled to see these high-flying chicas owning it at the Filoil Flying V Arena!)
Adamson’s Jessica Galanza and Mylene Paat
Graduating team captain Paat is keen on getting the Lady Falcons back there in the top ranks, and she’s got the humble-but-hungry Galanza to help her and the team overtake the other squads to the finish line.
Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, Amy Ahomiro, and Bea de Leon
The Lady Eagles seem to have their squad in tact despite the departure of Ella De Jesus and Den-den Lazaro. For all we know, it’s going to be another heated season for Ateneo with Valdez and Ahomiro (Season 77 MVP and Finals MVP, respectively) who are both on their last playing year. Worry not, Ateneo fans, the winsome De Leon seems to be next in line keeping the (bon)fire alive for Katipunan!
DLSU’s Ara Galang and Mika Reyes
The two remainders of the champion team then headed by Abi Maraño and Michele Gumabao (hence, the three-peat from Seasons 73-75). Returning from injury, the award-raking Galang accompanies youth influencer and fan favorite Reyes as they both take on their last playing season!
FEU’s Jerrili Malabanan and Bernadeth Pons
They might have come from different backgrounds—Malabanan hails from California where she won back-to-back MVP titles in high school, while Pons lived a simple life in Western Visayas with a pedicab driver dad and a housewife mom. They have one thing in common, though: Aside from wearing that perky smile that has made them distinctive characters on the hard court, these two girls show the same amount of dedication to the game!
NU’s Myla Pablo and Jaja Santiago
Defeating Ateneo at the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference last October, the event’s underdogs have got these two in the vanguard. Team captain Pablo and the towering Santiago, you wouldn’t believe, are funny, charming girls in real life!
UE’s Shaya Adorador and Kathleen Arado
Interestingly, these ladies picked their inspiration up from two of the most important men in their lives—team captain Adorador, from her dad-turned-coach; and Arado, from one of her uncles. Sports does run in the blood, eh?
UP’s Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon
The Maroons are definitely fronted by two incredibly athletic and competitive players this season: Bersola, who is bouncing back after suffering ACL and MCL injuries from last time; and Tiamzon, who has been playing the game since she was young and is now setting her eyes on training or sports marketing as her career of choice in the near future.
UST’s Jessey de Leon and EJ Laure
The lean and mean machines from the Tigers’ lair! Don’t let these pretty faces with modelesque bodies fool you (De Leon actually models, her most recent was for local brand Bench)—we all know that they play hard on the hard court!