UAAP Volleyball

Win or lose: Ateneo captain Doromal thanks remaining fans amid lowering attendance

JR Isaga

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Win or lose: Ateneo captain Doromal thanks remaining fans amid lowering attendance

WIN OR LOSE. The Ateneo Blue Eagles huddle after a point in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

The Ateneo Blue Eagles – far removed from their glory days in women's volleyball – remain grateful of fans who keep watching their games despite mounting losses

MANILA, Philippines – Last Saturday, March 2, the La Salle Lady Spikers took on the Ateneo Blue Eagles in their first rivalry showdown of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

Once a must-see showpiece of top-notch skills, the matchup has turned into a one-sided affair in favor of La Salle, which has won 13 straight times stretching over a near seven-year period over Ateneo, including Saturday’s 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 blowout.

And as the equality of competition between the two schools waned, so apparently has the fans’ interest.

Saturday’s match only saw 6,477 fans, and while the number is low by Ateneo-La Salle standards, what’s more noteworthy is that the Lady Spikers’ fans overwhelmingly outnumbered the Blue Eagles’ supporters – around a 90-10 split by the eye test.

The ear test was even worse, with La Salle’s booming kill blocks triggering massive cheers while Ateneo’s valiant efforts were met with soft, scattered applause.

This phenomenon, however, does not faze Blue Eagles’ captain Roma Mae Doromal, as she simply thanked fans who stay through thick and thin.

“Of course, we hope that many more fans support us, but we in our team know that we’re not waiting for support to come,” she said in Filipino after the blowout loss.

“Whatever support we get, we’ll accept it wholeheartedly, and of course, we will keep fighting no matter what level of support we get.”

Fight, Ateneo did, as it even threatened La Salle late into the second and third sets – enough for legendary Lady Spikers head coach Ramil de Jesus to acknowledge the young team’s potential despite their recent lack of winning power.

In Ateneo’s glory days, the lyrics “Win or lose, it’s the school we choose” would audibly rock arenas as thousands of fans belted out the Song for Mary school hymn.

Now more than ever, the Blue Eagles could use more fans choosing to support their cause despite the mounting losses.

“This is the Ateneo way,” after all. –

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