WATCH: Season 76: A Cinderella story
Mark Escarlote on Mar 31, 2020 04:22 PM
Watch how Ateneo de Manila University wrote its Cinderella story in UAAP Season 76 women's volleyball.
Coaches would say that a rivalry can only be legit if both teams have already bested each other.
In UAAP women’s volleyball, De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University have forged the most exciting rivalry in the last decade.
Every time the two teams would meet, the arena will be packed with fans of both sides forming a sea of blue and green.
But back in the early years of what would be this generation’s most celebrated rivalry, the Lady Spikers proved to be too much for the Lady Eagles.
Their first two Finals meetings resulted in DLSU gifting its multi-titled mentor Ramil De Jesus his second grand slam.
Then six years ago, after a couple of seasons of ending up as the crying bridesmaid, Ateneo finally wrote its fairytale with a happy ending.
It was 2014, the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament was already at its climax.
The mighty De La Salle University bulldozed its way into the championship round outright.
For 14 games in the eliminations the Lady Spikers led by their feisty and fiery senior Aby Marano were invincible.
Unbeaten, confident, eyes glued on extending their reign to four straight years, DLSU was unstoppable.
On the other side, the Lady Eagles were the underdogs hoping for a miracle.
Ateneo, removed of its Fab Five seniors who graduated without a mint the year before and under a new mentor who barely speak English or Filipino in Thai Tai Bundit, was led by third year hitter Alyssa Valdez and hardworking libero Denden Lazaro.
The Lady Eagles had to take the long route for a ticket back to the Finals.
Ateneo went through do-or-die games one after another against Adamson University and twice against the towering sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago-led National University.
Then came the mountain-scaling challenge of taking on a well-rested thrice-to-beat DLSU.
The Lady Eagles are determined to topple a giant.
The Lady Spikers are known for their pride.
Anything controversial is memorable.
A Cinderella ending is written.