UAAP 80 Men's Volleyball: MVP Espejo says Ateneo showed champion 's heart in Finals loss

Santino Honasan on May 02, 2018 06:39 PM
Espejo says Ateneo showed champion's heart in Game Two loss
“Siguro sa game naman kanina, pinakita din namin yung heart namin bilang champions before na hindi basta-basta sumusuko,”

Ateneo de Manila University may have come up short in their bid for a fourth-straight UAAP Men’s Volleyball Championship, but five-time Most Valuable Player and Blue Eagles star Marck Espejo isn’t broken up about it.

The graduating open spiker and Ateneo dropped a title-deciding Game 2 against National University in four sets, Wednesday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum, which ultimately marked the end of Espejo’s UAAP career, and Ateneo's reign at the top of the men's volleyball mountain. 

“Di naman maiiwasan yun, syempre malulungkot ka kasi sa last year mo dun pa hindi nag-champion,” Espejo said in the post-match press conference. “Pero parang di ko na naiisip yun, kasi kami nga yung underdog, kami yung naghahabol.”

Espejo, who also claimed his record-tying fifth straight MVP trophy Thursday, felt as if they were coming into the post-season as the underdogs, even if they were the defending champions, and even if they split the season series with NU.

“Kahit sabihin mo na natalo namin nung first round yung NU pero kami pa rin yung nasa bottom team, galing kami sa third place tapos nanalo kami sa FEU nang twice.”

The third-seeded Blue Eagles survived a twice-to-beat advantage against second-seeded Far Eastern University in the Final Four, which saw Espejo drop 55 in the first game and then 37 in the second game.

In Game One of the finals, the top-seeded Bulldogs ran through Ateneo in straight sets.

Game Two may have been a four-set win for NU, but no doubt about it, Ateneo made them work for all of those sets, with set two going up to 31-29, while the deciding fourth set ended at 33-31.

Espejo, who finished with a game-high 30 points, lauded his Blue Eagles for not giving up, even after being two sets down.

“Siguro sa game naman kanina, pinakita din namin yung heart namin bilang champions before na hindi basta-basta sumusuko,”

“Kahit na gaano kalakas yung kalaban, papairalin namin yung heart and yung passion namin sa loob ng court and yung love para sa isa’t isa.” Espejo added.

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