UAAP SEASON 77: ATENEO V UP
Ateneo had a spotless record coming into the game, not dropping even a single set against its opponents. UP on the other hand had was on a two game winning streak after it dropped its first two games against FEU and NU, and winning it’s last two against UE and (a shocking upset against) UST. But no one would put a bet on the Maroons over the Lady Eagles. The Battle of Katipunan was a ‘David versus Goliath’… defending Champs against the bottom dwellers.
UP fans were hoping for at least a set to boost the morale of the squad for their succeeding games. Sure enough the Lady Maroons came out fighting, taking the second set. Maybe Alyssa Valdez and company woke up on the wrong side of the bed or maybe they were a little rusty after the holidays. Maybe it wouldn’t be too much to ask for another set for UP. After Ateneo took the third set, it looked like a done deal. But again, the Lady Maroons came back fighting. The jam-packed San Juan Arena (for La Salle was playing on the second game) egged on the Diliman squad to take the game to a fifth and deciding set. I guess, anyone who puts up a fight against my rival gets my cheer. It didn’t hurt either that most people just love and will root for the underdog. Valdez and the Lady Eagles took advantage of the Lady Maroons’ inexperience and settled the match at 15-11 in the fifth set.
UP fans once again took the loss as a moral victory for the team who put up a fight and pushed the defending Champions to the limit. UP’s trio, Bersola, Araneta and Tiamzon remain the pillar of strength for the Lady Maroons. But it was evident that Nicole Tiamzon was rapidly emerging as one of the new star in the league.