In his three years playing for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo has achieved a lifetime’s worth of accolades.
Last Wednesday, Espejo was crowned MVP for the third straight year. He also added a second Best Attacker award and a first Best Server plum.
While most athletes target and keep track of their trophies, Espejo doesn’t even know how many awards he has in total.
“Medyo marami na rin po kasi,” Espejo shyly said.
Recruited out of Marikina, Espejo has led Ateneo to heights the program previously had not reached: the Blue Eagles had never reached the Finals before Espejo’s arrival.
Now, their time champions, appearing in the Finals for three straight years. Espejo also paired with Ysay Marasigan to bring home Ateneo’s first Beach Volleyball championship earlier this season.
No matter how many times you ask him, Espejo will insist he doesn’t aim for individual awards or recognition.
“Hindi ko po talaga iniisip yung individual awards. Mas matimbang po sa akin na nag-repeat kami this year,” Espejo insisted.
He, and the rest of the Blue Eagles, bought into head coach Oliver Almadro’s team first mantra. Almadro came into the team at the same time as Espejo.
“Sabi nga po ni coach, individual awards will only come when there’s team success. Kaya ayun po talaga ang iniisip namin. Mas masaya din po kasi kapag champion kasi you get to share the feeling of success with the entire team. Mas mahalaga po talaga sa akin ‘yun.”
Espejo credits most of his success to batchmate and setter Ish Polvorosa. The Cavite-native has won the Best Setter award for three straight seasons as well, tossing dynamically to keep the opposing defense on their heels.
“Ang laking bagay po talaga ni Ish kasi siya po ‘yung nagiisip ng atake namin. Sa diskarte niya po kami madalas nananalo.”
For now, Espejo will bask and enjoy his championship. However, he is still pushing himself for another golden run next season.
“Malakas pa rin naman po yung team next year. Hindi naman po magbabago yung intensity ng preparation namin. Bubuhos po kami ulet,” Espejo closed.
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