Ateneo’s Valdez, DLSU’s Lariba among UAAP Athletes of the Year

Naveen Ganglani

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Ateneo’s Valdez, DLSU’s Lariba among UAAP Athletes of the Year
Ateneo swimming star Jessie Khing Lacuna and Adamson softball standout Queeny Sabodo were also honored at UP

MANILA, Philippines – Four collegiate athletes, two each from individual and team sports, were honored as the UAAP Season 78 Athletes of the Year during the league’s closing ceremonies held at the Bahay ng Alumni in University of the Philippines on Saturday, May 21.

Former Ateneo Lady Eagle Alyssa Valdez, who was a 3-time MVP and two-time champion in the women’s volleyball tournament, was one of the two recipients from team sports along with Adamson softball player Queeny Sabodo.

Valdez’s collegiate career recently concluded in April when the Lady Eagles fell to the DLSU Lady Spikers in Game 3 of the finals. Valdez, who also won Best Scorer and Best Server awards in her career, led Ateneo to the finals in each of her 5 playing seasons.

Sabodo, on the other hand, had a successful ending to her career by helping lead Adamson to a sixth straight softball championship against University of Sto. Tomas and was named co-Finals MVP along with Annalie Benjamen.

La Salle’s Ian Lariba, who won co-Athlete of the Year for UAAP Season 77, won the award again after finishing her 5-year collegiate career without losing any singles match.

The 22-year-old from Cagayan de Oro will also be representing the Philippines in the 2016 Rio Olympics after prevailing in the women’s singles event at the ITTF-Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong last month.

Lariba is also a two-time reigning UAAP women’s table tennis MVP.

Jessie Khing Lacuna, a UAAP MVP in men’s swimming, was one of the other two Athletes of the Year from individual sports after leading Ateneo to a first-place finish in the men’s division of the Season 78 swimming tournaments. –

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