DO YOU REMEMBER? Kim Gequillana’s magic at the service line
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 29, 2020 01:25 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Kim Gequillana capped off her UAAP career last year as the winningest Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagle.
The versatile volleybelle has three women’s titles under her belt, surpassing the two crowns of legendary star Alyssa Valdez during her reign as the Queen Eagle. She’s a champion during her debut season and remained a winner on her swan song.
While most would remember the soft-spoken Atenean as an amazing key piece for the Lady Eagles whether as a hitter setting the tone or a defensive specialist who served as a catalyst for transition to offense, Gequillana’s magic at the service line three years ago will also be one of her most-remembered career highlights.
That’s how many service winners Gequillana landed in what turned out to be the second-longest stretch of a player at the service line.
It was on March 26, 2017 at the Big Dome when Gequillana wielded her magic to hex the service reception game of the Adamson University Lady Falcons in the third set of a one-sided encounter in UAAP Season 79.
Ateneo was looking for a bounce-back win that time after a five-set loss to National University and spot in the Final Four spot. Adamson, on the other hand, came into the game winless in 11 outings and with its ace player Jema Galanza sitting out after collapsing days before.
As expected, the then league-leading Lady Eagles smashed through the Lady Falcons in the first two sets.
Then came the highlight reel moment for Gequillana.
After Michelle Morente opened the third frame with a kill, Gequillana stepped on the service line and stayed there for 16 straight attempts.
She actually came six service attempts close to tying the UAAP record for the most number of serves in a single set.
But the now decade-old record of former University of Sto. Tomas setter Rhea Dimaculangan remained intact when Gequillana overcooked her 16th attempt with Ateneo holding a 16-0 advantage.
“Sabi nga nila ako lang ang pinawisan doon eh sa third set,” said Gequillana shortly after Ateneo wrapped a lopsided, 25-13, 25-13, 25-11, win. “Medyo naman (napagod) sa service, parang doon ko ipinapakita ang responsibility ko and ‘yung opportunity ko doon ko talaga mina-maximize.”
Coming off the second technical timeout, Gequilana obviously lost her momentum.
“Kasi galing ‘yun ata after ng timeout so feeling ko parang nawala ang momentum ko siguro,” explained the Bacolod-native. “Medyo nag-add ng konting force na medyo sumobra siya. Konti na lang talaga sabi ko malapit na matapos.”
Ateneo was five points short of tying the most lopsided set start since University of Sto. Tomas built a 21-0 lead when the Tigresses demolished University of the East, 25-2, 25-15, 25-8, in Season 72 on January 9, 2010.
Dimaculangan was at the service line 22 times before committing a service error in the most one-sided set win since the UAAP implemented the rally point system back in 2000.
Gequillana capped her magical moment with 11 points off an efficient 7-of-14 attacking clip and 4-of-18 service winners.
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