UAAP Story: Rise of Underdogs

​Underdogs are schools that have relatively new line-up due to the loss/graduates of some key players while some may have new coaches.

Teams that I consider underdogs are the Adamson Lady Falcons, Ateneo Lady Eagles, University of the East Lady Warriors, University of the Philippines Lady Maroons and University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses. These teams are relatively new in terms of group dynamic and adjustments ranging from change of coaches to loss of key players and having additional players.
Adamson team shows promise since the comeback of almost all of their players who plaued the Season 78 and were not able to play in Season 79. I’m talking about Paat, Dacoroon and Emnas who were full of potential but always fell short during their stint in the previous seasons. They struggled and then they cameback at the right time helping Galanza to win games and recently defeating the defending champions in 4 sets. This only shows that the Lady Falcons are stronger and in better shape than their previous years. They are the team that will not be taken lightly.

Ateneo Lady Eagles is a team who lost their setter and their team captain of the previous season, Morado and Morente respectively. Though veteran players Maraguinot, Madayag and De leon are still with the team, they have to adjust because not only did they lost the playmaker but also their defensive specialist, Gequillana, earlier the season because of an ACL Injury. The team has to build a strong connection and regain their team dynamics with the new setter and libero. They may seem to be starting from scratch but remember the time when the Lady Eagles had their first title, they lost the Fab Five, their starters yet they won a championship for two consecutive years. This simply shows that this team has that power to go against all odds and prove themselves to be worthy opponents in this season.

UE Lady Warriors is a new team with a new coach entering midseason. In the past, they were the team that is being played by the bench players from other teams. A “sure win” if not an “easy win” for their opponents but this season they show that they can also be lethal. They even stole a set from almost all teams during the first elimination round and having a five setter match against strong opponents. Veterans, Arado and Adorador, lead their teams to have confidence and to eventually win sets. Although winless at the moment, they pretty showed a great fight and giving the other schools a hard time to get their win. 

University of the Philippines, this team has the youngest players. The players have to step-up their game and they did. Despite losing their coach before the season starts, this doesn’t made them weak rather it made them stronger. They keep that as a motivation as they move forward. They may be the least mature team in terms of handling the pressure, the crowd and the situation in the court per se but they won matches and every game must be a learning experience for them. They have the highest potential to outshine other teams when they peak at the right time. 

UST Tigresses has also an intact line-up from last year except from the unfortunate loss of Laure due to shoulder injury before the season began. I consider them as underdogs because they were considered as underrated by many. This team has the right people with the right skills that they need it’s just that they have to polish things and when they do they could be lethal. Looking at the form and on how these girls play, it’s no doubt that they wanted that final four spot. The will of these girls are like a fire that can’t be stopped which makes them an opponent that is hard to beat.

This Season 80 all teams have the same goal but only Four teams will be moving towards that championship. This is just the first round of elimination and it’s not done yet but the scoring is so close that you don’t know what more to expect other than this year is an exciting season to watch.


Experience and Maturity in UAAP

UAAP Season 80 is an exciting year in collegiate volleyball. This is because the most of the big names in PH volleyball were already graduated from college. Only a few remains and new stars are rising from every schools. 

This year is a game between relatively young teams versus the experienced and mature ones. The latter I’m talking about are the schools such as National University Lady Bulldogs, Far Eastern University Lady Tamarraws and the De La Salle University Lady Spikers. I think they have experienced players who are playing in the commercial and pro-league. Individually the players were exposed to high intensity games and developed to be better which is beneficial to their respective teams. The thing that will matter is on how their acquired experience and maturity translate into winning games in UAAP Season 80. 

NU Lady Bulldogs has an intact line-up. The likes of Santiago, Nabor, Urdas, Sato and Singh whose connection and teamwork made them closer to the Final Four last year but failed near the end. In the off season, these girls played in commercial league where they won the championship in PVL Collegiate Conference but that doesn’t automatically give them a free pass in the UAAP games rather they showed their opponents that they are the wall that most teams would climb towards that UAAP championship. The players are hungry for a trophy although they may have a new coach but their desire to get that Final Four spot and eventually the championship are unwavering. 

FEU Lady Tamarraws is a strong team with a powerful line-up despite the loss of Palma when she graduated. Their rally towards the Final Four is also strong as key players are still with the team. They will stand their ground against the other relatively younger teams to defend their Final Four spot and eventually the championship. They also played in the commercial league where they faced the Lady Bulldogs and finished second. In this UAAP season, many expect that the Lady Tamarraws will come back against their loss from the NU Lady Bulldogs. 

DLSU Lady Spikers has also an intact line-up despite the loss of veteran setter Fajardo who finished her last playing year in Season 79. Although the team may have a new setter but their team have two national players, Dy and Macandili, who are key players in defending their UAAP title a the top seed. The team are composed of veterans as they also played in the pro league during off season. Their maturity as a team grew and they’ll be needing to convert their individual strength to propel the team in winning another championship title.

Many expect these team to excel in this UAAP Season 80 but these are expectations of people rooting for these teams because the reality is its anybody’s game. The other teams are young but resilient. Underestimating the other teams may cost a Final Four spot and even a championship. 

This Season 80 I’ll be looking forward to more exciting games and action packed matches between schools having one goal in mind and it’s to win the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Looking Good in PVL

These are the teams that are looking pretty good in the collegiate conference of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL)

  • Adamson Lady Falcons. They struggled during the Season 79 of the UAAP but despite the setback they challenged themselves to do better. Although they ranked in the lower part of the standings during their rally on the Open PVL Conference, they displayed resilience and showed a good fight against veterans and pro players in the said conference. They garnered respect on and off the court proving the effectivity of the system under Coach Pada.
  • Ateneo Lady Eagles. Despite of the recent loss to the team, Jia Morado as setter, Gizelle Tan as libero and Michelle Morente as spiker, they’ve proved that the system of Coach Tai remains with the team. They showed excellent serves and blocks aside from the versatility of the players playing different position during the games on PVL Collegiate Conference. Most veteran players of the team suffering or nursing injuries but the team delivers with a win. High regard setter Jia Morado is now with the team as an assistant coach which is helping the team in the transition process of them graduating and the youngster entering the court.
  • Far Eastern University. With the exposure of most FEU players in the pro-league, they’ve gained experience and technique that will help the team in their campaign for the PVL Collegiate Conference and eventually the upcoming UAAP Season 80. Despite the new system with their new coach, the group is still intact and gearing toward their ultimate goal.
  • National University. With an intact team, the Lady Bulldogs are at the peak of their game without letting the change of leadership in their coaching staffs affect their game. 
  • University of the Philippines. The recent change of some coaching staff after the resignation of Caoch Jerry Yee, Lady Maroons showed they can still be a strong opponent when it comes to offense and blocking. Adjustments were made by the team to fill the absence of players who graduated recently. Despite of these challenges, the girls are stepping-up and involving all players with their offense. Maturity comes to those who rise when the need occur and that’s exactly what the Lady Maroons did.

    These teams have plenty of time to prepare for their respective collegiate seasonal games and this is the perfect time to train and familiarize the players to find the combination best suited to be in the court.

    Feelings out

    Last night, Ateneo Lady Eagles did not just lost the championship rather they lost the best setter ever, Julia Melissa Caro Morado, and the improved setter-libero, Gizelle Tan.

    They left the team and the fans in tears especially when Jia Morado said that she would be signing off from the UAAP. I felt shocked by the announcement of Jia at the same time I’m happy for her and for Gizelle.

    I won’t be writing much in this post since I just like to express my feelings in writing so that I can now focus on my studies.

    But rest assured that I’ll be updating and posting tribute for Jia, Gizelle and the rest of the Lady Eagles to cheer them up.

    Volleyball Drama

    Game 1 of Season 79 Finals ended with a heartbreaking but well fought battle for the Ateneo Eagles but the Lady Eagles are positively moving on from their loss. 

    Promising to bounce back and win the remaining games until the Game 3 of the Finals which fortunately the day of the Ateneo Lady Eagles’ team captain Julia Melissa Morado. 

    Which team will be claiming the tittle of this Season 79 volleyball championship?

    Will the La Salle defend their title? or Will the Ateneo gain their most awaited third championship in the history?

    Tune in for more updates in ABS-CBN Sports and Action. 

    Small Talks

    Women’s Volleyball Finals of UAAP Season 79 is few days away and this is the time where players will be needing all the encouragement before going to that Finals court. 

    I’ve been an Ateneo fan for as long as I can remember. I’ve watched players grow and make their own names in the court. I became a fan not because of certain players but because of teamwork and on how the team crawled its way up. I also have been a varsity athlete for 4 years and my journey was just like the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
    This is why I decided to post this message hoping that the team I’m rooting for will have the emotional strength they need.
    When the year of Gretchen Ho, Fille Cainglet, Angeline Gervacio, Jem Ferrer and Bea Tan ended their UAAP career, the likes of Jia Morado, Michelle Morente, Jhoanna Maraguinot lead by Alyssa Valdez came into the picture. The following year when the Thailand coach, Anusorn Bundit, lead the team it was the year when Ateneo first have the UAAP Championship Title and it is no secret. The victory was followed by its 2nd championship until the year when Alyssa Valdez, Amy Ahomiro, Ella de Jesus and Denise Lazaro graduated and they lost the championship to their rival, La Salle. 

    This year spectators doubted the girls in saying they are not a final four contender but I didn’t lost faith in them.

    Jia when first played as the rookie setter in Ateneo, I admired her bravery and heartstrong committment to the team. Her composure and leadership along with her trusts and plays given to her teammates made me love her more. I hope that Jia will hold on to the feeling when she first got the acknowledgement she deserved to boost her confidence. Be humble as you are and never lose faith in your teammates. 

    Mich is one of the players that is doing it all. Her energy inside the court that radiates to her teammates and infects them with her playfulness to lighten the mood of the team. It is important to have that kind of person in the floor who reminds the players to play their game and put the pressure aside knowing that too much pressure hinders the performance of an athlete. In the incoming game, I hope that Mich will be her playful and bright self first and foremost in order to deliver her full potential during the games. Cheer-up and do what you always do, Attack and Defend.

    Jho is one of the players who felt the pressure of stepping-up for team because it is expected of her. I saw her ups and downs during her career, how she overcame all of it and I’m proud of her because of that.  I believe that confidence is one of the factors that greatly affects players and Jho one of those. I hope that Jhoanna will not doubt herself. We, your fans, believe in you. You have to believe it yourself that you can do it all with God’s grace and it will be given to you. Don’t let other people criticisms get into you because they don’t know your story. You have your team to watch your back so do what you do best, Soar high, do that wise and power spike.

    I may not be the person in position to say those things since I don’t know you personally but I feel like an older sister giving advice to my younger siblings so just bear with me. 
    Every player has there own strengths and weaknesses but what matter most is how you channel an make us of these in order to achieve your goal. Go ATENEO. ONE BIG FIGHT. 

    credit photos to GetBlued.


    Rivals wearing blue and green will again face each other in the last round of elimination for the first spot upon entering the final four of the season.

    Will the Ateneo Lady Eagles defeat again the La Salle Lady Spikers or will the latter prove that they were the defending champions? 

    Watch-out for tgeir gane this Saturday, April 8, 2017.