Meneses, Laure unbelieving of their special awards
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 17, 2016 04:23 PM
The 13th V-League Reinforced Conference individual award winners.
In the face of high-caliber opposition further beefed up by foreign guest players, Marivic Meneses, Ennajie Laure and the rest of the Espana-based community were all rapturous that the University of Santo Tomas, going all-Filipino, made the Final Four of the recently-concluded Shakey’s V-League Season 13-Reinforced Conference.
When told individually to stay for the special awarding ceremony immediately after the Tigresses lost again to Balipure in the second game of their bronze-medal playoff last Monday, the two were shocked but pleasantly so.
“Talaga po?” said Meneses, a middle attacker and blocker, her chinky eyes bulging out of their sockets. The requests meant the two were to receive special awards for exceptional individual performances.
“Sigurado kayo?” Laure, an open spiker, blurted out. She was more composed than Meneses but disbelieving as well.
They knew the requests meant they were to receive special awards for exceptional individual performances.
Later on Laure was first to receive her award as 2nd Best Open Spiker behind top awardee Alyssa Valdez of Bureau of Customs, who was also crowned the season’s MVP. Meneses was chosen the 1st Best Middle Blocker ahead of Lilet Mabbayad also of BoC.
Volleyball aficionados were one in saying that these Tigresses were most deserving of what they were honored for. They said they best exemplified the wondrous leaps and bound coach Kungfu Reyes’ team has taken since their last appearance in the V League, in the Collegiate Conference middle of the year.
UST finished the one-round, eight-team elimination tied with Bureau of Customs and Balipure, both with foreign guest players like Pocari Sweat, at 5-2 apiece. Pocari wound up as the top seed at 6-1 going into the Final Four.
The Tigresses lost their semifinal playoff with eventual champion Pocari Sweat.
Starting like a house on fire, UST pulled off a shocking upset over Balipure, crewed by former Ateneo players and beefed up by Americans Kaylee Manns and Katherine Morrell, for their third straight win in the preliminaries. Manns said the Tigresses were a very strong team. “They have very strong attackers and those girls are fearsome because they hit so hard and jump so high you got to find ways to stop them.”
Manns and the Water Defenders got their comeuppance when they beat the Tigresses two straight in their separate battle for third place.
Valdez sets MVP record
Alyssa Valdez set a league record after receiving her third Conference Most Valuable Player award.
She made history after being named as 13th V-League Reinforced Conference MVP.
Adding her Finals MVP in the 2012 First Conference and last year’s Reinforced Conference, Valdez is now the owner of the most number of MVPs in the 13-year league.
She also cornered five of the six trophies for 1st Best Outside Spiker given out in the last two years, with Laure first finishing as 2nd Best Outside Spiker behind her in the 2015 Collegiate Conference.
Meneses clinched her first No. 1 Middle Blocker Award in the 2015 Open Conference as she relegated sasa Santiago to second place.
The complete list of special awardees:
1st Best Outside Spiker – Alyssa Valdez (Bureau of Customs); 2nd Best Outside Spiker – Ennajie Laure (UST)
Best Libero – Dennise Lazaro (Balipure)
Best Setter – Iris Janelle Tonelada (Pocari)
1st Best Middle Blocker – Marivic Meneses (UST);
2nd Best Middle Blocker – Lilet Mabbayad (BoC)
Best Opposite Spiker – Michelle Gumabao (Pocari)
Best Foreign Guest Player – Breanna Lee Mackie
Most Valuable Player – Alyssa Valdez (BoC)
Finals MVP – Michelle Gumabao (Pocari)