The UAAP will honor the individual awardees of the Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday, May 15. While it was originally reported that they will follow the FIVB format of recognizing per position, word has it that they will return to the previous approach of awarding players by skill.
But regardless of what will be implemented, there are still a number of players who deserve praise for their great performance. Therefore, we have decided to name an All-Second Team just like how the National Basketball Association does it.
Naming the All-First Team
Since we are trying out something new, we decided to follow the FIVB style in giving player trophies. That being said, we need to identify two outside hitters, one opposite spiker, two middle blockers, one setter, and a libero. However, FIVB usually chooses its awardees from teams who made it to the semifinals.
Following that approach, winners can only come from the FEU Lady Tamaraws, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers, the UST Golden Tigresses, and the Ateneo Lady Eagles. No wonder there was much apprehension regarding this approach especially when you look at the stat leaders by the end of the eliminations.
However, the UAAP has already released the list of individual awardees which are:
Outside Hitters – Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure
Opposite Hitter – Kat Tolentino
Setter – Laizah Bendong
Libero – Kath Arado
Princess Robles was also named Best Server while Rondina will also take home the Best Scorer and MVP awards. Laure is also named Rookie of the Year.
All-Second Team Best Outside Hitters
With the first team already established, we now identify the rightful individuals in the All-Second Team. Unlike the First Team, players on this list can come from any UAAP school. Therefore, the open spikers on the second team are:
Judith Abil (UE Lady Warriors) – She toned down on her celebrations after a score. But she vastly improved her offense by tallying 179 attack points, 15 service aces, and five blocks. Abil is a huge reason why UE are not pushovers anymore. Much like her co-spiker Mary Anne Mendrez, her game is more of intelligent spiking and not power. This is a nice distinction for the graduating Lady Warrior.
Princess Robles (NU Lady Bulldogs) – What she lacks in height, she makes up in her fighting spirit. The rookie impressed with her leaping ability and power that enabled her to score 158 attacks and six blocks. Robles is also ninth in receiving with a 36.7% efficiency clip and first in serving with 26 aces. She is indeed an ace for NU in the coming years.
All-Second Team Best Middle Blockers
Bea De Leon (Ateneo Lady Eagles) – While she doesn’t have as much points as Celine Domingo and Aduke Ogunsanya, the margin is not far off. Domingo had 123 total points while Ogunsanya and De Leon tallied 120 and 114, respectively. But the graduating Lady Eagle is just one kill block short of Domingo’s total (29-28). Likewise, De Leon had less faults (42) than the Lady Tamaraw (55) and the Lady Spiker (47).
Joy Dacoron (Adamson Lady Falcons) – It’s a close contest between her and Celine Domingo. The Lady Tamaraw had a better blocking average and more kill blocks, 29-25. But Domingo’s 55 faults against Dacoron’s 31 is the deal breaker. The Cebu native also had more total points than her fellow blocker, 130-123.
All-Second Team Best Opposite Hitter, Setter, and Libero
Tots Carlos (UP Lady Maroons) – Their Final Four hopes have gone to waste but her showing still deserves attention. The UP team captain poured 186 attacks upon the opposition. Her jump serve produced nine aces while her timing at the net resulted to 15 kill blocks. However, Carlos’ final year with the Lady Maroons is still in limbo. But her followers can witness her strong spikes as she plays for Motolite in the PVL.
Deanna Wong (Ateneo Lady Eagles) – She may not have as much points as Kyle Negrito, Ayel Estranero and Michelle Cobb. But focusing on setting stats alone makes her the rightful receipient. Sharing time with Angel Cayuna might have affected Negrito’s chances of being included. Yes, Wong had the third-most faults among starting setters with 23. But her average sets per frame is still better than the rest.
Thang Ponce (Adamson Lady Falcons) – The runner-up for Best Libero this season. She is runner-up to Arado in digs with 6.87 per set but is only fourth in receiving with a 44.09% efficiency. FEU’s Buding Duremdes is not even among the top ten receivers. Meanwhile, Jennifer Nierva could have made a strong case here if not for more digging faults than Ponce (147-110).