Morente before Morente

Friday, 22 Sep 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

Michelle Morente pulled off a shocker when she transferred to De La Salle University after playing for four years for Ateneo de Manila University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament.

Morente is no ordinary talent.

She competes with intensity and passion and can deliver at both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. In fact, she won two crowns with the Lady Eagles before leading them to a bridesmaid finish last year.

But finishing her college career in Ateneo’s blue and white wasn’t meant to be.

In a stunning twist of fate, Morente failed to school’s required academic requirement, prompting her to be declared ineligible for UAAP Season 80 that would start towards the end of January next year.

It was her second time to be meted with such infraction, leaving the Lady Eagles with no choice but to cut her from their roster.

This sorry development prompted her to try her chances somewhere.

And she found their most bitter rival school – La Salle – as a fitting landing spot.

In a Volleyverse article early this week, La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus admitted that the 22-year old opposite is already training with them.

He said she’s now taking up BS Psychology and is now serving residency that would enable her to see action in Season 81 for her sixth and final year in college.

After that, she would move to the Philippine Superliga (PSL) to join her La Salle teammates at F2 Logistics, giving her a golden opportunity to play in various international tourneys like the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship.

But seven years after Morente was born, there was a rebellious former Most Valuable Player (MVP) who bravely crossed the enemy line and moved from La Salle to Ateneo.

In an era where only friends, families and a handful of rabid fans were watching at a dimly-lit gymnasium somewhere in University of the Philippines-Diliman, Iris Patrona became the first female volleyball player to join a rival team.

She was the trailblazer, the 2002 version of Morente, only this time, it wasn’t academics that forced her to transfer – it was pride.

In a Volleyverse article published last year, Patrona bravely – and humbly – narrated the stormy turn of events that led to her transfer from La Salle to Ateneo.

She opened old wounds and turned it into motivation to move forward through love, humility and forgiveness.

Here’s her beautiful story – The Rise & Fall of La Salle