ABS-CBN Sports' UAAP women's volleyball mid-season awards

Mark Escarlote on Mar 03, 2016 03:00 PM
ABS-CBN Sports' UAAP women's volleyball mid-season awards
Here is ABS-CBN Sports’ take on players that deserve mid-season commendations and those that need to improve heading to the last seven games of the eliminations.

After the smoke of the first wave of 78th UAAP women’s volleyball war has cleared, a handful of players shone bright with their exciting plays backed by their impressive stats while some performed sub-par from what was expected from them during the off-season.

Here is ABS-CBN Sports’ take on players that deserve mid-season commendations and those that need to improve heading to the last seven games of the eliminations.

 

Most Valuable Player: Alyssa Valdez (Ateneo de Manila) 

Undeniably “The Phenom” could be making a strong bid for her third straight top individual award despite lagging behind in the scoring and attacking category to Cherry Rondina of University of Sto. Tomas and teammate Jho Maraguinot, respectively.

The Queen Eagle is fourth in the scoring division, 16 points behind Rondina, and third in spiking trailing Maraguinot. But the outgoing Ateneo star is in the top five of three categories including a third spot position in the service line behind  teammate Maddie Madayag and good buddy setter Kim Fajardo of De La Salle.

Valdez’s effort on offense as well as defense carried Ateneo on top of the standings with 6-1 win-loss record. The Lady Eagles’ only loss came from the hands of archrival DLSU last Saturday that snapped Ateneo’s 24-game winning streak dating back from the last two Finals games of Season 76.      

Honorable mention: Cherry Rondina (University of Sto. Tomas) and Kim Fajardo (De La Salle)

 

Most Improved Player: Cherry Rondina (UST) and Majoy Baron (DLSU)

Making the most impact this season is the 5-foot-6 Cherry Rondina of UST.

Showing potential last year, the Cebuana hitter was smoking-hot on offense this season under the watchful eye of UST rookie coach Kung Fu Reyes.

Rondina is no. 1 in scoring after the first seven games of the tournament with a total of 129 points more than double of her 56 markers the whole Season 77.     

After seeing limited action in Season 77, Majoy Baron has turned into DLSU coach Ramil De Jesus’ main weapon to man the net.

Baron benefitted from the absence of injured Desiree Cheng, covering up the middle with Mika Reyes.

The third year player leads the field in blocking with an average of 1.04 denial per set and her 81 total accumulated points in the first seven games of the season has already surpassed her 57 markers of the whole tournament last year.

The silent giant is 10th in scoring this season.  

Honorable mention: Maddie Madayag (Ateneo) and Toni Rose Basas (Far Eastern University)  

 

Rookie of the Year: Isa Molde (University of the Philippines)

A hands down choice to win the Rookie of the Year award, Isa Molde is making heads turn not only with her stunning looks but also because of her monster game inside the court.

The 17-year-old Hope Christian School recruit is seventh in scoring with a total 90 points from 74 kills, eight block kills and eight aces to showcase her offensive prowess. Molde is also a reliable defensive piece for University of the Philippines coach Jerry Yee with an average of 1.73 digs per set – good for seventh place in the digging department.

The freshman is expected to show the same energy and aggressiveness in the last phase of eliminations in the Lady Maroons’ final push to return to the Final Four for the first time since Season 65.        

Honorable mention: Diana Carlos and Justine Dorog of UP

 

Best 6: Isa Molde (UP), Dawn Macandili (DLSU), Alyssa Valdez (Ateneo), Kim Fajardo (DLSU) Cherry Rondina (UST) and Majoy Baron (DLSU)

 

Coach of the Year: Tai Bundit (Ateneo)

Steering a team playing without its vital defensive cogs in Denden Lazaro and Ella De Jesus after last season’s tournament sweep on top of the standings shows the genius in third year coach Tai Bundit of Thailand.

His system remains one of the most effective in the league, proven by Ateneo’s 24-game winning romp and six straight of the season before falling short against rival De La Salle to end the first round of eliminations.

Expect more of that heart strong mantra in the final stretch of the eliminations that will culminate with the Ateneo-DLSU rematch on April 10.       

Honorable mention: Ramil De Jesus (DLSU), Jerry Yee (UP) and Shaq Delos Santos (FEU).

 

Underachiever: Amy Ahomiro (Ateneo)

On her last hurrah as a Lady Eagle, Amy Ahomiro of New Zealand is struggling to find her form.

The presence of the fifth year middle blocker was hardly felt in the first round.

She collected 43 points in Ateneo’s first seven games, a long way to go to equal her total of 127 markers in Season 77.

Ahomiro was sixth overall in kill blocks last year. She’s out of the top 10 with just nine denials this season compared to league-leading Baron’s 24.  

Others: Jaja Santiago (NU) and Marivic Meneses (UST)   

 

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