Marck is a monster -- Almadro on Espejo
Mark Escarlote on Apr 21, 2018 07:42 PM
Well, Marck is a monster! -- Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro on Marck Espejo's 55-point explosion
Ateneo de Manila University head coach Oliver Almadro needed a second look at the stats sheet when it was handed to him moments after surviving a do-or-die match against Far Eastern University.
While the rest of the fans already new of Marck Espejo’s feat after the final whistle, Almadro and the rest of the Blue Eagles save for probably their team statistician had no idea that they’d just witnessed history unfold.
Espejo, the four-time Most Valuable Player, just wrote history.
Almadro just blurted out the first words he thought that best described the King Eagle’s performance in the three-time defending champion Ateneo’s 18-25, 25-13, 24-26, 25-23, 15-9, win over twice-to-beat Tamaraws Saturday in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament Final Four.
“Well, Marck is a monster!” exclaimed Almadro.
“I mean, he's there, defense, a little bit struggle in the serve, but when it matters, he made the points sa serve,” he added. “That's what I'm telling my players, you have to make a point when it matters.”
“Fifty-five points doesn't matter if you don't make it at the right time. So he made it at the right time, the maturity is there.”
The graduating hitter pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad.
Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes.
Almadro revealed during the postgame interview that when he first took a glimpse of the stats sheet, he thought there was something wrong with Espejo’s output.
“Nagulat nga ako, sabi ko, typographical error ba ito?” he said. “Hindi namin alam. Hindi nga namin alam eh.”
“Minsan nga, naano pa ako kay Ish (Polvorosa) - 'Ish, bigay mo na kay Marck, bigay mo na kay Marck.' 'Yun pala, he is making these points na,” said Almadro. “Well, ibang klase. Ibang klase tinarbaho ng mga seniors ko. Si Marck, si Ish, si Karl. Sobrang iba ang tinarbaho nila. Sabi nila, pinag-usapan nila na kahit saan man sila abutin, hindi nila bibitawan itong last playing year nila.”
The deciding match of the semis series is on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Kung saan man abutin, it's the Lord's plan, basta they will give it all, magtu-tulong-tulong sila, and they will lead this team every game,” Almadro said.
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