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Aby Maraño goes Beast Mode for a cause

Aby Maraño isn’t truly herself if she isn’t in her full Beast Mode self

While some expected the Battle of the Rivals charity match between the Ateneo de Manila Univeristy and De La Salle University to be a light affair, Maraño greeted them with booming, running hits.

The two-time UAAP Best Blocker displayed her fine form in front of more than 13,000 hollering fans at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. She scored 16 points off 10 attacks, three blocks, and three aces, and brought home the best player award for the La Salle-side.

For the National Team middle blocker, the rivalry match was a chance to show the growth of her game to legions of supporters. Being in full Beast Mode was par for the incredibly entertaining Aby Maraño course.

“Beast mode pa rin talaga ako. Beast mode ako parati kasi gusto ko yun ang i-set kong standard ng paglalaro ko kahit saan ako naglalaro

“Hindi lang masyado yung swag kasi hindi naman masyado intense ang game parang gusto ko lang ma-perform pa rin ng tama ang gagawin ko. Tapos wala masyadong ibang eksena,” the 24-year old told reporters adding she wanted to set an example for her younger teammates. “Feeling ko kanina parang wala na talaga yung takot sa sarili ko na pagpasok ko pa lang sa court parang feel na feel ko na. Ate na ako ng mga ito eh, kailangan mag-perform ako.

“Kailangang mag-set ako as a role model sa kanila na dapat ganito ang performance whether exhibition ito o hindi dapat ganito ang performance. Kumbaga yung bunga ng mga pinaghirapan ko noong collegiate kailangan maipakita ko sa kanila. Kaya all out din ako kanina,” expressed Maraño, who is four years removed since last playing in La Salle.

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The three-time UAAP champion doesn’t even mind losing. Reuniting with her former teammates was her biggest reward.

“Ang sarap ng feeling kasi yung mga moments na pinagdaanan nyo before sa UAAP championship parang nagde-déjà vu,” the 5-foot-9 blocker furthered. “Parang kapag nakapuntos, ‘yan ganyan! Parang yung ingay namin, yung intensity na kapag nakakapatay kami yun ang nagpa-flashback sa akin kanina, yung mga memories kaya sobrang happy ko lang kanina. Hindi ko alam parang masaya lang. Ang saya-saya ko lang kahit na talo kami. Di masakit.

“Parang ang mindset ko lang ngayon ay maglaro at mag-enjoy at ma-experience ko ulit na naglalaro kami sa MOA.”

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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