Marck Espejo in unfamiliar territory as Ateneo in danger of missing semis

Ateneo juggernaut Marck Espejo is in an unfamiliar place, as he and partner Ish Polvorosa are in danger of missing the Final Four of the UAAP Season 79 beach volleyball tournament. 

Losing back-to-back games in one day and sitting at 1-3 so far, the Blue Eagles will have to sweep their remaining assignments to stay in contention.

Espejo, who’s won back-to-back titles and 3 MVPs in the indoor tourney, hopes they make the necessary adjustments pronto.

“Wala na rin kaming time mag-training rin and makapag-prepare, so kung ano yung meron kami, ibubuhos na talaga namin,” he told FOX Sports. “At this point, babalewalain na namin yun (init ng araw). All out na talaga kasi ito na yung last chance namin e.”

After winning the championship last year, Espejo said they have had trouble adjusting to the heat of the sun as they were unable to train in such conditions.

“Lagi kaming sa gabi lang nakakapag-training,” he related. “Nauunahan din kasi kami sa reservation ng ibang teams tapos may pasok din kami. Kakatapos lang din ng Spikers’ Turf so 2 weeks before lang nito kami nakapag-training. Nakapag-book na lahat nung schools. May beach court naman kami sa school pero hindi rin namin nagagamit ng maayos. Kulang lang talaga kami sa preparations this beach volleyball.”

Despite everything, the Ateneo pair can still get through the Final Four as they take on UE, UP and La Salle in their last 3 outings.

Espejo said they will do whatever it takes to sneak into the semifinals.

“Kailangan talaga namin i-push yung sarili namin,” he said. “Sana malagpasan din naman para sa Final Four maging masaya.” — By Joyce Palad