Ysay Marasigan, who’s been a vital cog in Ateneo’s rise to the top of UAAP men’s volleyball, almost didn’t make it to the big league.
Growing up in the countryside, the University of Batangas Science HS alumnus admitted the UAAP was never on his mind before graduation.
“Actually wala akong choice na pumasok sa Manila, sa Batangas lang talaga,” he told FOX Sports. “Di ko minamind. Sumusunod lang talaga ako dati sa parents ko.”
Marasigan, the eldest of 5 children of a jail officer and a housewife, doesn’t have enough financial support to study in Manila, let alone in an expensive school like Ateneo.
“Alam ko naman yung state ng family ko. Mahihirapan kami financially and ayaw ko lang iwan yung pamilya ko,” he said.
Things started to change for the better when ex-Blue Spikers coach Mario Mia spotted him playing.
“Yung nag referee dun sa tournament namin nung high school, siya yung coach ng Ateneo dati, si Coach Mario Mia. He invited me na pumasok sa Ateneo men’s volleyball team,” he said.
But it wasn’t an easy yes for Marasigan, as his father initially objected to him moving to the Big City primarily because of financial difficulties.
“Nung nirerecruit ako, nung first na sinabi ng tatay ko kay Coach Sherwin, head ng volleyball ng Ateneo and dun sa coach ko dati, sabi niya hindi niya ko papapasukin sa Manila. Kasi mahihirapan kami financially and other stuff.”
“Yung sinabi nung tatay ko kay Coach Sherwin, ‘magaling ba tong anak ko at re-recruitin niyo?” he added.
Fortunately for Marasigan and the Blue Spikers, his parents finally relented and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Siguro naisip rin namin na mas maganda yung magiging benefit ko if nagpunta ako Manila,” he said. “Naisip rin namin na free scholarship and ganito, marami yung makukuha ko and mas makakabuti siguro yun. So try nalang din natin hanggang sa natanggap nalang din namin na mas maganda pala dito.”
“Siguro narealize din, sige try mo nalang dun muna. May babalikan ka naman e, may back-up ka naman e.”
Admittedly, Marasigan’s parents hasn’t watched any of his games except for a game in the championship round 2 years ago.
“Kasi hindi nila alam na magaling ako, joke lang,” the Blue spiker captain joked. “Ever since kasi, di pa sila nakakapanuod ng laro ko. Nung 3rd year ko, last 2 years na nakapunta kami ng finals, yun lang yung first time na nakanuod yung parents ko ng live ng game ko.”
After seeing him lead the Katipunan squad to the Promised Land, Marasigan’s family now believes he made the right decision to move to Manila to study and play.
“Masaya naman sila. Naririnig nila na nananalo kami. So na-excite nalang sila pag napapanuod nila yung game namin. E diba paunti-unti natetelevise narin.”
“Wala namang regrets. Mas natutuwa na sila ngayon kasi nasa Ateneo ako.” — By Joyce Palad