UAAP Graduating Players Honor Roll: Who’s the Valedictorian?

The roller coaster ride that was UAAP season 80 is finally over.

From multiple five-setters to stunning upsets to neck-and-neck race to Final Four, the recently-closed season is definitely one for the books as it also served as the stage for the swan songs of the former rookies turned superstars.

To recognize the graduates of 2018 batch of 2014, FOX Sports PH ranked who among these stalwarts should be included in the honor roll.

Note: Players who forego their last playing years are not included in the list, i.e. Ateneo’s Jia Morado and UST’s Ria Meneses.

Here’s your 2018 Graduating Players Honor Roll:

SPECIAL MENTION

Shaya Adorador, UE

Jema Galanza, ADU

THIRD HONORABLE MENTION
Kim Dy, DLSU

Achievements: UAAP Season 78 Finals MVP; three-time UAAP champion; two-time UAAP silver medallist

Kim Dy may have bloomed late unlike her batchmates but she reached her peak just in time to tow La Salle to its third grand slam.

The opposite hitter always delivered during clutch moments thanks to her unique spiking form and long, strong arms for blocking.

Dy began to dominate UAAP in season 78 where she was converted to play as wing spiker and never stopped since.

SECOND HONORABLE MENTION
Bernadeth Pons, FEU

Achievements: one-time UAAP silver medallist; one-time UAAP bronze medallist; four Final Four appearances

It is a collective belief that Bernadeth Pons is the MVP that never was.

The 21-year old outside hitter was FEU Lady Tamaraws’ top scorer for five years straight ever since she brought her goods from Talisay to Morayta.

Pons is most known – and loved – for her down to earth attitude despite her high leaping skills and triple-double abilities.

FIRST HONORABLE MENTION
Majoy Baron, DLSU

Achievements: UAAP Season 78 Best Blocker; UAAP Season 79 MVP; three-time UAAP champion; two-time UAAP silver medallist

Majoy Baron entered coach Ramil de Jesus’ camp as a less-experienced, only-chosen-because-of-height girl.

Few years later of continuous hardwork, Baron emerged as the Lady Spiker’s go-to girl not only in defense but also in leadership and composure.

The 5’11’ tower proved that perseverance, not just skills, is they key in winning multiple championships and individual accolades.

SALUTATORIAN
Dawn Macandili, DLSU

Achievements: UAAP Season 78 Best Digger; two-time UAAP Best Receiver; UAAP Season 80 Finals MVP; three-time UAAP champion; two-time UAAP silver medallist

Dawn Macandili may have been the smallest of the class but she ended her career with flying colors as one of the best libero who ever graced UAAP.

The 21-year old libero started her career shakily and inconsistently, but she burned the midnight oil on countless nights to made up for her low marks and help the Taft-based squad notch its 11th championship during her final year.

The defensive ace made yet another history when she was awarded as the first ever libero Finals MVP after winning three-peat title for La Salle.

VALEDICTORIAN
Jaja Santiago, NU

Achievements: UAAP Season 76 Rookie of the Year; four-time UAAP Best Attacker; UAAP Season 79 Best Scorer and Best Blocker; UAAP Season 80 MVP; two-time UAAP bronze medallist

Arguably the most sought after middle blocker in the country today, Jaja Santiago was the heart and soul of the NU Lady Bulldogs for the past four years.

The 22-year old hitter stood out tallest among her batchmates not only because of her 6’5” frame alone but also due to her unparalleled play, passion and leadership on and off the taraflex floor.

Santiago could have been a UAAP champion had she donned a different jersey. Nevertheless, her loyalty to NU proved just how much she deserved all the recognitions she garnered.

Congratulations, graduates!

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