MANILA, Philippines – After Far Eastern University (FEU) swept Ateneo in the eliminations, Marck Espejo needed to unleash the beast in him to salvage the Blue Eagles’ season.
This came in the form of a 55-point outburst in a 5-set game that sealed the victory.
“Yung points naman po, hindi ko siya iniisip. Basta iniisip ko lang, pag binigay sa akin ‘yung bola, kailangan ko pumuntos, kasi para sa team ko naman ‘yun eh. Sama-sama kami lagi sa hirap at ginhawa,” said Espejo
(I don’t think about the points. I just think that if the ball is given to me, I have to score because this is for the team. We are always together in both tough and fun times.)
The Tamaraws were no match for the UAAP’s reigning MVP, who trounced them with 47 spikes, 6 blocks, and two aces.
The season is far from over for the Blue Eagles as the win booked them another knockout date with the twice-to-beat FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, April 25, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The 5th year player is keen on making Season 80 his most memorable one yet.
“Gusto ko lang maging memorable ‘yung last year ko, at ino-offer ko sa mga teammates ko ‘yun,” said the graduating 4-time MVP.
(I just want my last year to be memorable and I am offering this to my teammates)
Although Espejo is sure that the Morayta-based squad will figure out the Blue Eagles’ game plan, he still remains confident that as long as his teammates trust each other and know their roles, they can pull off an upset against FEU.
“Basta ‘yung tiwala ng teammates ko, nasa akin kasi may kanya-kanya kaming role,” said Espejo
(As long as my teammates trust me because we each have our own roles.)
“Hindi ko naman magagawa ‘yun [55 points] kun’di dahil sa tulong ng teammates ko. Basta pag binibigay sa akin ‘yung bola, kailangan ko lang mag-deliver. Kung kaya, sana malagpasan pa natin ‘yung performance namin ngayon [semis game one].”
(I wouldn’t be able to score 55 points if it weren’t for the help of my teammates. As long as they give the ball to me, I need to deliver. If we can, we hope to surpass our performance in the semis game one.)
Coach Oliver Almadro also commended Espejo for his record-breaking heroics, but he first had to stare at the stat sheet dumbfounded for a little while.
“Nagulat nga ako, ‘typographical error ba ito?’ sabi ko kanina. Hindi namin alam,” said the stunned Blue Eagles head coach.
(I got shocked, I asked myself: ‘is this a typographical error?’ We didn’t know.)
Praises aside, it’s immediately back to work for Almadro and the Blue Eagles, whose sights are still set on a 4th straight championship.
“Sabi ko nga: ‘they beat us twice, we will try to beat them twice’. Nakakuha na kami ng isang [panalo]. We will really work hard. If we can, triple the effort para mabawi namin ang isa,” said Almadro.
“‘They beat us twice, we will try to beat them twice,’ I said. We got one win. We will really work hard. It will be triple the effort if we can in order to get back the other win.) – Rappler.com