UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Hindi ito ang last game ko -- Espejo

Mark Escarlote on Apr 21, 2018 06:25 PM
UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Hindi ito ang last game ko -- Espejo
Iniisip ko talaga, hindi (ito ang) last game. Iniisip ko, may training pa kami bukas -- Marck Espejo

Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo didn’t even know that he’s already setting a new league-record.

What was playing in his mind Saturday in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball Final Four battle against twice-to-beat Far Eastern University inside the MOA Arena was the scheduled training of the Blue Eagles Sunday morning.

He won’t let this be his last day in an Ateneo jersey.

“Iniisip ko talaga, hindi (ito ang) last game. Iniisip ko, may training pa kami bukas. So ayun po,” said a very soft-spoken King Eagle moments after dropping 55 points to preserve the Blue Eagles’ four-peat bid.

Ateneo finally got over the hump against the only team that they haven’t beaten during the elimination round, cancelling out the semis advantage of the Tamaraws with a morale-boosting 18-25, 25-13, 24-26, 25-23, 15-9, win that forced a do-or-die match on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     

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. 

“‘Yung points naman po, hindi ko siya iniisip. Basta iniisip ko lang, pag binigay sa akin 'yung bola, kailangan ko pumuntos, kasi para sa team ko naman 'yun eh. Sama-sama kami lagi sa hirap at ginhawa,’ said Espejo.

The King Eagle was unstoppable, breaking his previous high of 39 points, which he scored during the Blue Eagles’ five-set loss to FEU in the second round.

Graduating setter Ish Polvorosa feasted on his setups, tallying 45 excellent sets mostly handing the ball to Espejo.

“Hindi naman po 'yung sa akin lagi ibibigay, pero ‘pag naglalaro, tawagin ko lagi si Ish para sa akin ibigay 'yung bola, 'yung blocker mapunta sa akin,” said Espejo. “Pero basta iniisip ko pag binigay sa akin 'yung bola, kailagan ko pumuntos talaga.”

Espejo highlighted his performance with a fifth set onslaught. With FEU breathing down their necks, 11-9, Espejo went into beast mode, putting matters on his own hands capped by a game-winning kill.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

 

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