Monday, March 17, 2014

That Top 10 countdown: Pretty Fly For A Spiker -- UAAP Edition

Your UAAP 76 Women's Volleyball Champions: the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
(Photo by Roy Afable)
Season 76 of the UAAP has been roller coaster of sorts. A lot of memorable moments that certainly lived up to this year's theme: Greatness Never Ends. A new champion has been crowned in the UAAP Women's Volleyball tournament and indeed, what a historic finish for the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

Now that UAAP 76 is already in the books, we all gonna look forward to Season 77. With that in mind, here's the top 10 countdown y'all have been waiting for:

(Photo by Roy Afable)
10. Julia Morado -- Ateneo

For Ateneo Lady Eagles Rookie Julia Morado, expectations were indeed high since day 1 of UAAP Volleyball 76. True enough, that gave her inspiration to play her best throughout the season. There may be comparisons between her and the former that used to wear her jersey number but she didn't mind at all. She just played her game. For sure, those that wore number 12 before her are very much proud. She and her team did the impossible -- win the UAAP Women's Volleyball title for the first time.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
9. Amanda Villanueva -- Adamson

Amanda made heads turn when she first played for the Adamson Lady Falcons last year. An accomplished Beach Volleyball player, she brought depth, power and athleticism for Adamson. In just two years, she's now one of the top scorers for the Lady Falcons this season. Things are indeed looking up for Amanda and expect her to score buckets in Season 77.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
8. Alex Cabanos -- UST

The UST Golden Tigresses have one of deepest rosters in the UAAP. And Sophomore Setter Alex Cabanos is one of the reasons why. When team Captain Loren Lantin went down with an ankle injury early in the second round of the tournament, Alex stepped up to the plate for the Tigresses. Despite not making it to the Final Four, expect UST to bounce back next season.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
7. Bang Pineda -- Adamson

She's by far one of the most popular players in the Adamson Lady Falcons roster today. Dubbed as "The Franchise", she has the skill set of a Libero and a power hitting Spiker combined. No wonder, Adamson's floor defense has been one of the toughest to crack and she's also a proven scoring machine. Once she gets into her rhythm, it's hard to stop her attacks.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
6. Tricia Santos -- UST

There's a lot of hype when Volleyball fans first found out she's gonna play for UST this season. Hype or not, Rookie Tricia Santos knows she has the athletic ability and she belongs in the UAAP. Doesn't matter whether or not she gets a lot of playing time, she'll do whatever it takes to win. Y'all watch out for her in Season 77.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
5. Cess Listana -- Adamson

The Lady Falcons' resident Libero Cess Listana didn't get a whole lot of playing time in the middle of round 1 of the Eliminations. The Bicolana Beauty was back in the rotation but as Service Specialist. Yup, she's scored some aces when she's serving and it has made a lot of difference in Adamson's offense. We all have been accustomed to seeing her diving for loose balls as a Libero but maybe, just maybe we might see her play as a Spiker next season.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
4. Desiree Cheng -- La Salle

Not a lot of Volleyball fans know much about Rookie Desiree Cheng but like Julia Morado of Ateneo, she's one of the top Spikers in High School. If you're a long time Lady Spikers fan, y'all wouldn't be surprised why she's in the starting 6 since day 1. Apparently, Coach Ramil De Jesus knows what he's doing. Don't let her cuteness fool you though, once she's up in the air she's gonna pound that Volleyball hard down the court.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
3. Den-Den Lazaro -- Ateneo

Den-Den Lazaro is by far one of the most hardworking Liberos in the UAAP. Her quickness, athleticism and court awareness is just unbelievable. She really plays with heart and grit. Her ankle injury in the Finals series didn't hinder her to do the task at hand. That same heart and grit is what catapulted the Ateneo Lady Eagles to winning their first and historic UAAP Volleyball championship.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
2. Pia Gaiser -- UP

Y'all have seen the UP Lady Maroons' improvement this season 76, right? Yup, there may be new faces on their team but better. Now in her sophomore year, Pia has learned a lot since her first stint last season for the Lady Maroons. She's still the same bubbly and energetic Libero we've all known to love and still the most popular among her teammates, too. y'all don't be surprised to see UP beat some of the top teams in the UAAP next season. Remember their match against FEU in the second round? 'Nuff said.

(Photo by Roy Afable)
1. Mika Reyes -- La Salle

Known as "The Taft Tower", Mika Reyes will always be in intimidating presence for the Lady Spikers frontline. Albeit her statuesque frame, she is very quick and athletic. Let's not forget her power especially when she does her patented running attack. With a couple of UAAP Championships under her belt, expect Mika and the rest of the Lady Spikers to reclaim the title once again in Season 77.


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