S+A airs La Salle-Ateneo’s Battle of the Rivals
FIERCE rivals Ateneo Lady Eagles and the De La Salle Lady Spikers delivered another five-set classic when they clashed for a cause in last Sunday’s “Battle of the Rivals” event, which will have a primetime telecast this Saturday at 6 p.m. on S+A and S+A HD.
Former and current players of the Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles led by national team captain Mika Reyes, Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo, and Jia Morado relived their collegiate rivalry in front of a mammoth crowd of over 13,000 people at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, who were there to support the teams’ goal of raising funds for scholars of the Ateneo De Manila University Foundation, the De La Salle University Foundation, and the Rebisco Foundation Inc.
De La Salle went firing off the bat, racing to a two-nil set lead thanks to Aby Marano, Stephanie Mercado, and Michele Gumabao. However, Ateneo, refused to give up and staged a furious comeback for an epic come-from-behind win, led by no less than the volleyball phenom Valdez, who scored 36 points, and her fellow Cool Smasher Morado, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the game from Ateneo with 58 excellent sets. Marano, who led her team in points with 16, was named MVP for DLSU.
The captains of the two squads, Cha Cruz for La Salle, and Valdez for Ateneo, agreed that meeting on the court after quite some time felt invigorating, especially as they are doing it for a good cause.
“It’s a great feeling to play with friends especially after recalling the hard-fought battles we had in the past. At the end of the day, we are all friends and getting reunited for a good cause is what it’s all about. Plus, there’s nothing like seeing green and blue on the same court,” Cruz said.
“Rivalry brings out the best and that extra excitement in us. We are now giving a whole new meaning to the word rival in the sense that it isn’t something negative, but something that excites people and fuels us to play our best not just for ourselves but for our team and what we represent as a whole,” Valdez added.
Aside from the much-awaited faceoff, fans also got to enjoy and appreciate the games more as a select group of volleyball stars and fans teamed up for an exciting Skills Challenge that tested their abilities in service, digging, and attacking. There was also an exhibition match featuring the Philippine national men’s volleyball team.
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