US basketball

Marck Espejo remains undisputed king of UAAP men’s volleyball

Beatrice Go
The King Eagle takes home the MVP title in every season of his 5-year collegiate career

LEGEND. Marck Espejo's 5-time MVP feat solidifies his status as the best of his generation. Photo by Michael Gatpandan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo Blue Eagle Marck Espejo reigned supreme for one last time as he bagged the Most Valuable Player of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Volleyball tournament. 

The King Eagle captured his 5th and final MVP title, making him the only player in league history to win the highest individual honor in every season of his entire collegiate career. 

Aside from winning the league’s top award, Espejo nabbed his 4th Best Spiker award, second Best Server award, and won back-to-back Best Scorer of the league.

At the end of the eliminations, Espejo’s offensive prowess remained undeniable as he converted 50.09% of his spikes. 

Espejo was also lethal on the service line with his powerful jump serves that saw him score an average of 0.44 aces per set.

In the Best Scorer category, the phenom led the rankings with 317 points off 268 spikes, 27 bocks and 22 aces, which put him way ahead of National University’s Bryan Bagunas, who placed second with 260 points. 

After the elimination round, Espejo averaged 46 points in the semi-finals series where Ateneo managed to overcome Far Eastern University’s twice-to-beat advantage. He highlighted his semis stint with a 55-point explosion in the first game. 

Espejo’s dominance in the league powered the Blue Eagles to the finals in all of his 5 years. When the NU Bulldogs were gunning for their third straight championship in Season 77, the Espejo-led Blue Eagles swept NU for Ateneo’s first ever men’s volleyball championship. 

The Blue Eagles dominated the league with a 3-peat championship – including an undefeated run in Season 79.  

In Season 76, Espejo took home the Rookie of the Year plum to complement his inaugural MVP status.

Ateneo’s key playmaker Ish Polvorosa also solidified his hold on the league’s Best Setter award for the 5th straight time, averaging 10.74 sets per frame. 

University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spiker Jayvee Sumagaysay won over last season’s Best Blocker John Paul Bugaoan from FEU as he averaged 0.78 blocks per set. 

FEU’s sole graduating player Rikko Marmeto led the Best Receivers category with an efficiency of 68.80%, while De La Salle University’s Jopet Movido took the Best Digger honors, averaging 4.27 digs per set.

Ateneo’s Ariel Morado took home the Rookie of the Year honors. – Rappler.com 

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.