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Bea Tan confirms return to Ateneo for UAAP Beach Volleyball

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Ateneo’s back-to-back championship run in the UAAP can very well be credited to the stellar play of Alyssa Valdez. But Valdez could not have fired-off her devastating hits without the likes of Ella de Jesus and Denden Lazaro handling opposing services and attacks.

Although Ateneo is still looked at as the favorites in the upcoming 78th Season of the UAAP, the graduation of De Jesus and Lazaro left a void in the Ateneo lineup with no immediate replacements, especially at Lazaro’s Libero slot.

In the past few weeks, rumors that beach volleyball maven, Bea Tan was returning to the Ateneo indoor volleyball lineup to play Libero swirled around social media. In an interview with Tiebreaker Times, Tan confirmed that she is going to don the Ateneo blue and white, for one last time, but only assured that she was going to suit up for the beach volleyball team for now.

“I’m going to play beach volleyball for Ateneo in the UAAP. There’s no assurance that I’ll play indoor because it’s a big commitment. I’m actually enrolling for MBA in Ateneo next week,” said Tan. “I planned to go back to school again, and the opportunity came up that I still have one more playing year. Coach Tai wanted someone defensive on his team so he approached me. But knowing Coach Tai’s training, it’s a big commitment, pero I really want to play for beach. Coach Tai said the only way for me to train for beach is if I train for indoor as well.”

Tan played for Ateneo for four years. Unlike many student-athletes, she opted to skip her last playing season as she wanted to focus on her business. Despite her busy schedule, Tan kept herself in top shape. Realizing she could still play competitively, Tan joined the Foton Tornadoes and participated in the PSL.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Bea Tan confirms return to Ateneo for UAAP Beach Volleyball

“It was a big decision for me to make because I finished schooling in four years. I actually wanted to pursue business. For a year, I worked on my business while regularly working out on the side. So I was thinking ‘I’m still working out and paying for all these gym fees and trainer fees, so why don’t I go back to Manila and maybe play for a bit and play semi-pro?’,” expressed Tan. “Thankfully, the Foton management was accommodating enough to understand that I have my business while I was playing with the team,” she said with gratitude.

While missing out on Ateneo’s Season 77 title run, Tan expressed that her missed year gave her a new perspective on her volleyball career and afforded her a much needed ‘RNR.’ “Missing out on my fifth year was a break for me since we used to train twice a day with no breaks. It was refreshing to keep a distance and find new perspective, but I realized that I still love playing the game. I feel blessed having been able to take a break.”

Asked when she’ll formally commit to playing indoor volleyball, Tan is taking her time since the tournament is still a long ways ahead. “It’s just a matter of time for me, kasi I’m thinking about the commitment that I’ll have to give to Coach, since like i said there’s twice a day training, but I still have my business,” she said. “It’s really a great opportunity to play again, but it’s just that I have some other commitments that I have to iron out first. UAAP indoor is a long way to go so I still have time, but right now I really want to focus on beach volleyball.”

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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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