These days, the sight of collegiate players playing in the club ranks has become nothing out of the ordinary.
La Salle’s top spikers play for F2 Logistcs, UST’s duo of EJ Laure and Sisi Rondina are under contract with Foton, FEU’s core are playing under Petron while NU’s Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas recently got signed by Laoag.
More than the financial gain, the improvement in the skills and mental toughness these student-athletes are proving to be of much value with La Salle’s Dawn Macandili as the poster girl of the positive effect of young guns playing in the PSL and the V-League.
Unfortunately, fans won’t get too see Ateneo undergrads donning club jerseys any time soon.
“Wala namang nag-offer na club teams tsaka bawal rin daw. Parang rule sa amin na pag maglalaro ka, kailangan Ateneo ang dala mo. Rule ng school ‘yun eh,” shared Ateneo’s Jho Maraguinot.
“Sayang siya, sayang ‘yung opportunity pero you have to follow the rules pa din. Siguro after graduation na lang kami pwede sa ganun,” she added.
The squad’s Katipunan neighbour, UP, recently inked a tie-up with United Auctioneers Inc. which was supposed to be the name the Jerry Yee-led team will carry in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Reinfroced Conference.
But due to the some technicality and ruling, the management decided to revert back to just using the institution’s name for the time being. Ateneo, on the other hand, will be skipping the tournament altogether due to academic reasons.
“Hindi kami nag V-League ngayon kasi conflict sa school. Nung unang conference marami na ring cut ‘yung iba kasi every Monday and Wednesday nagka-cut sila ng classes,” Maraguinot told FOX Sports.
Nonetheless, the Lady Eagles’ preparations for Season 79 are already in full swing with head coach Tai Bundit weaving his magic anew to whip the rebuilding crew in shape before the Season 79 kick off.
“Ngayon parang back to basics kami. Nagfo-focus kami sa isang skill muna. ‘Yun ‘yung diskarte ni coach eh,” the Batangueña shared. “Ngayon focus ka muna sa depensa. After ilang weeks puro palo lang.”
“Wala pa kaming mga 6-on-6 kasi kulang pa rin kami. Sila Mich (Morente) wala pa sila dahil nagte-training sa beach volley,” she added.
With the departure of the Queen Eagle, Alyssa Valdez, affecting the team’s chances at avenging its finals loss to La Salle earlier this year, Ateneo will be in search of a new leader to help maintain its winning tradition.
This, the Lady Eagles hope to accomplish when they complete their yearly training camp in Thailand in December and January.
“May matututunan pa din naman kami dun kasi iba-iba naman ‘yung mga nakakalaro namin sa Thailand. From high school to college to club teams, nakaklaban namin. Iba-iba pa rin ‘yung nage-gain naming experience,” the incoming third year player closed. — By Mac Dionisio