UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Wake-up call na 'to -- Espejo on loss
Siguro time na rin 'to para bumalik kami sa baba kasi matagal na kami sa taas -- Ateneo ace Marck Espejo
Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo thinks that the defending champion Ateneo de Manila University needed the straight sets loss to Far Eastern University on Sunday at the MOA Arena to get their feet back on the ground.
The Blue Eagles suffered its first loss after two seasons when Ateneo dropped a shocking 18-25, 19-25, 22-25, 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament defeat at the hands of a team that it has been dominating for four straight years.
The loss snapped the Katipunan-based squad’s 30-game winning streak that stretched from their fourth game in Season 78 to a rare season sweep the following year.
“’Di ba nga ngayon na lang ulet kami natalo kaya meron sa amin na ngayon na lang ulet nakaramdam ng talo. Siguro time na rin 'to para bumalik kami sa baba kasi matagal na kami sa taas,” said Espejo, who in his five-year collegiate career absorbed only his second loss to FEU.
Espejo and the Blue Eagles last dropped a game against the Tams back in opening round of Season 76. Ateneo then took the win in their next eight meetings.
The Blue Eagles seemed to have lost the same fire they had during their long winning run, playing sluggish the whole match and even giving away 27 points off their errors. They also allowed the Tams to score 37 attack points.
“Siguro, parang pumunta lang kami dito para maglaro pero hindi para manalo,” observed Espejo, the only Blue Eagle in double figures with 12. “Wala kaming sinet na goal.”
“Sa game naman, wala siyang (coach Oliver Almadro) masabi sa amin na play o anuman kasi nga sa amin galing 'yung mali. Hindi niya alam kung saan magfo-focus, kung sa amin ba o sa kalaban?,” Espejo added. “Pero sinabi niya na kung sino 'yung mga nakaranas ng talo - like kaming tatlong seniors nila Ish (Polvorosa) at Karl (Baysa) - ipaaalam namin sa teammates namin kung ano 'yung pakiramdam na matalo and kung ano kailangan gawin sa susunod.”
Espejo also didn’t want to make the loss of veterans Rex Intal and Josh Villanueva, who graduated last season, and Season 79 Finals MVP 6-foot-8 Russian-American Tony Koyfman (academics) as an excuse.
They just didn’t do what they’re supposed to do.
“Given naman na siguro 'yung nawala sa amin. Naniniwala naman kami na kaya namin especially noong mga pumalit sa kanila. Siguro itong pagkatalo namin eh wake-up call na 'to,” he said.
The Blue Eagles will face National University on Wednesday in an early rematch of the two teams that figured in the Finals last year.
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