By Bryan Jed Barola
As we all know, the UAAP Board has cancelled the rest of Season 82 due to the spread of the Corona Virus Disease. So while we are stuck with boredom and longing to watch some action-packed games, let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive the moments of some recent games that made history throughout the league’s existence.
This list did not include championship games because they are already a fun experience to relive.
1. UE vs ADU S78 Rd1
In their final game of the season, Adamson Lady Falcons are seemed ready to give their all and leave the UE Lady Warriors yet another winless season. However, the Recto-based squad had a different plan in their mind. With their newly-improved lineup led by the rookie captain Celine Domingo, and bluechip recruit Mean Mendrez, the team did not succumb under pressure and slapped their opponents.
What made this game even more dramatic is that we all get to see Coach Francis Vicente in tears.
This may not be the most action-packed game of the season, but this 3-set victory marked the start of winning culture for the Lady Warriors after breaking a 58-game losing streak.
2. NU vs UP S81 Rd.1
UP’s former super rookies Isa Molde, Justine Dorog and Tots Carlos found their heir apparent in the Sampaloc-based squad. Unfortunately, they had to deal with them in a hard way.
The young NU-squad showed creative volleyball skills through their 2-woman receiving pattern courtesy of Jen Nierva and Ces Robles. Ivy Lacsina—who was initially recruited by UP, served as a threat for the crumbling Diliman squad. Also, the recently converted senior setter Joni Chavez bested UP’s veteran Ayel Estranero. Meanwhile, Bingle Landicho had the last laugh with her steady serves that helped her team snatch the win, leaving everyone in the arena speechless. This game marked the rise of a post-Jaja Santiago era of NU
3. DLSU vs ADU S80 Rd1
Adamson University pulled off the biggest upset of the season by dealing DLSU’s second loss. Former Lady Spiker Eli Soyud who was a part of DLSU’s Season 78 Championship, flexed her newfound confidence as she clashes her former team.
The taft-based squad had a hard time dealing with Joy Dacoron’s improved running attacks and Mylene Paat’s middle plays, backed up by Jema Galanza’s little extra floor defense. This game served as a lesson for the DLSU not to underestimate every opponent, as they went on a mission and win every game left in the season.
4. UP vs ADMU S80 Rd2
This Carlos vs Tolentino showdown proved everyone that there is nobody safe in the standing until the last ball lands on the floor. Molde, who was hailed as Kween Maroon registered her name in the stat sheet through her mean attacks and block. But Ayel Estranero—who has been subjected to switching different positions throughout the season, provided spotless performance from receiving and digging to setting, and even attacking; marking her leap as Miss Anyone of UAAP.
In the end, the Maroon side of Katipunan snatched weaves as they took away Lady Eagles’ chance for a twice to beat advantage, a feat that they have been achieving in the previous 3 seasons.
5. UST vs NU S79 Rd2
It was a smooth sail for NU at the beginning as they lead UST two sets to none. But Coach Kungfu Reyes pulled out a card in the third set: A 5-foot-9 middle blocker in Tin Francisco. She smoothly changed the phases of the game as she lowkey murdered NU’s final four hopes. To add more drama, EJ Laure fell off at the tail end of 5th set. She wasn’t benched however as she continues to salvage her team. One word for EJ: Slay!
In the end, the Tigresses successfully pulled off a comeback that made their way in entering the final four. Also, seeing Jaja Santiago crying while singing UST- her former school’s hymn shookt the crowd.
6. FEU vs ADMU S80 Final Four
Since season 77, FEU has been consistently placing in the final four, the farthest they can go since they last appeared to vie for championship back in season 71. However, season 80 was a time to be extra.
With possibly the last game for the graduating players Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, they went all out and challenge Ateneo’s 6 straight finals appearance. But it was Kyle Negrito who dropped the last ball by providing a solid block against Jho Maraguinot. Wig!
This was Coach George Pascua’s first coaching stint for the Lady Tamarraws that served as a reminder to the whole UAAP community that his team does not hold the most women’s volleyball championship trophies for nothing.
7. DLSU vs FEU S78 Final Four Game 2
Though DLSU have always been a final four shoo-in in the past, Season 78 wasn’t a walk in the park in their final four stint. That is because FEU Lady Tamaraws forced them to a do-or-die for a finals slot.
But with an execellent floor defense by Dawn Macandili, backed up by superb blocking of Mika Reyes and Majoy Baron, and insane shots by Ara Galang, the taft-based squad proved that they are the queens of comeback. Surely, DLSU Kweens claimed their redemption arc after their heart-breaking Season 76 and 77.
8. ADMU vs UST S81 Rd2
At the beginning of the season, nobody expected an Ateneo vs UST finals. However, this game served as a preview of what Season 81 championship game could look like.
UST initially won the first two sets but with some grit, Ateneo was able to pull off a clapback a la Katipunan. Maddie Madayag slayed in scoring 23 points consisting of 1 ace, 11 attacks, and 11 kill blocks- the highest record in the league’s Final Four era. Meanwhile, Queen Tigress Sisi Rondina was able to match Alyssa Valdez’ record output back in 2013 by notching 35 points. What spiced up this game more are some “swag” showed by the super rookie Eya Laure and the veteran Bea De Leon. This has been dubbed as “The best game of the season” by UAAP Fans since both teams played at their peak.
It is truly unfortunate for volleyball fans to be deprived of another taraflex court action. But hey, this drought won't last forever. UAAP volleyball will flourish once again bearing a promise of greater stories that will shape our country's volleyball future. Be ready to give it all for more.