Ateneo defends right to play in AUG
ABS-CBN Sports on May 06, 2016 02:34 PM
Sending a team to the AUG was already decided by members of the UAAP board as early as late last year --- Ateneo athletic director Emmanuel Fernandez
Three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez and the Lady Eagles will represent the Philippines’ women’s volleyball team in the 18th ASEAN University Games in Singapore two months from now.
Ateneo de Manila athletic director Emmanuel Fernandez on Friday said that the Katipunan-based squad accepted the offer to play in the biennial regional sports meet for student-athletes as early as last year.
This according to Fernandez should clear the issue of sending an Ateneo team that was denied of a three-peat by arch rival De La Salle Lady Spikers just a week ago.
"Sending a team to the AUG was already decided by members of the UAAP board as early as late last year, way before La Salle wins the women's volleyball title,” he said. “Since the deadline was tight and we need to come up with the team, the UAAP board asked Ateneo to be its representative."
In a separate interview, Valdez said that she will don the Ateneo jersey anew for an encore to her collegiate exit together with the Lady Eagles for the July 9 to 19 sports spectacle participated by 11 countries with hopes of improving their bronze medal finish in the 2014 Palembang, Indonesia edition.
“Hopefully if possible puwede (pa akong lumaro). Ateneo ang dadalhin ko pero I’m not yet sure kasi hindi pa kami nakaka-commit (ng final),” said the 22-year-old power-hitter and popular volleyball darling. “So hopefully talaga kasi it’s for the country din naman.”
But Ateneo’s intention to participate was met with opposition from DLSU fans claiming that the champion team should be the country’s representative, firing a social media frenzy.
ABS-CBN Sports tried to get the side of DLSU if they are going to send the Lady Spikers in the AUG. However, athletic director Nongnong Calanog in a text message replied, “No word yet, will update.”
With AUG to be held on July instead of the usual December schedule, the organizers asked the UAAP to name their representatives as early as November last year. UAAP volleyball opened last February.