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Ateneo’s Marck Espejo is UAAP S77 MVP
by rick olivares
Marck Espejo, Ateneo’s other volleyball phenom outside the Lady Eagles’ Alyssa Valdez, will win his second consecutive Most Valuable Player Award before Game Two of the Men’s Volleyball Finals gets underway today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Espejo, the Concepcion, Marikina native, garnered a total of 93.269 statistical points; well ahead of second placer Mark Gil Alfafara of UST who finished with 86.923 points. The Ateneo sophomore, who made UAAP history by winning Season 76’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Awards, tremendously helped the Blue Eagles overcome a slow start to finish atop the eight-team standings with an 11-3 record. Ateneo defeated Adamson in the Final Four to book a spot in the Finals against National University that conquered them in the finals. The Oliver Almadro-coached Ateneo squad took down NU in four sets last Wednesday to take a one-game advantage over the two-time defending Men’s Volleyball Champions. A win today will give Ateneo its first Men’s title since 1976.
Espejo will cart home a second award as the league’s Best Attacker with an incredible 50.98% success rate in his spikes.
Alfafara himself will be taking home the Best Scorer Award as he piped Espejo by registering 289 points to the Atenean’s 280.
National University’s master of the running spike, Peter Torres made another contribution to his team’s title defense as the season’s Best Blocker as he averaged 0.78 blocks per set. His NU teammate Vince Mangulabnan will be named as the Best Server with an average of 0.35 per set.
Adamson’s Rence Melgar is the Men’s Division’s best defender as he takes home two awards as the Best Digger with a 2.47 average per set and the Best Receiver with a 39.93 efficiency rating.
Ateneo’s Ezmilzo Polvorosa also makes it back-to-back as the UAAP’s Best Setter. Polvorosa averaged 8.08 per set.
The University of the East’s Edward Campusano was the lone light in a tunnel of darkness for the host school as he is Season 77’s Rookie of the Year. UE finished 0-14; the same record as its women’s squad. Its Boys Team salvaged some school pride as they won the Juniors title over Ateneo.