And the UAAP chapter of Mika Reyes comes to an end.
With her first 4 years in the collegiate ranks split into 2 victories and 2 heartbreaks, Season 78 was a crucial point in Reyes’s volleyball career as the pressure of ending her tour of duty for La Salle with a bang continued to build up.
But though the road to the title was nothing short of bumpy, the middle blocker and the rest of the Lady Spikers finally brought the crown back to Taft in a 4-set takedown of archrival Ateneo.
On the Lady Eagles’ meltdown in the latter half of the match, Reyes shares, “We took advantage na. Ito na ‘yung opportunity namin. As a team grinab namin ‘yun para hindi na sila makakuha pa ng chance para maunahan pa kami. I guess we were able to do it naman.”
Known to have one of the biggest following in the local volleyball scene, Reyes zoomed to stardom all thanks to the combination of her impressive blocking and her undeniable good looks.
The Bulacan native, however, did not have it easy as her bashers called her out for her intensity inside the court and her ‘lack of power.’
All this is now water under the bridge as Reyes rose to the challenge and proved her self worthy of the starting spot given to her by head coach Ramil de Jesus ever since she made her debut in Season 74.
“Finally! Ngayon sobrang mixed emotions pa. Kani-kanina lang nag sink in na wala na pala ako sa UAAP,” exclaimed the 3-time champion.
“Medyo na-sad din ako bigla pero at the same time, masaya kasi nagawa ko ‘yung promise ko sa mga bata na pag graduate namin magcha-champion kami,” she added.
Aside from Reyes, fellow veterans Ara Galang, Cyd Demecillo, Mika Esperanza and Carol Cerveza will all be exiting the UAAP after Saturday’s titanic battle at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Pitted against Ateneo skipper and 3-time MVP Alyssa Valdez in their last year of eligibility, Reyes wholeheartedly acknowledged the skills of ‘The Phenom’ and at the same time hoped that the ‘issues’ will die down from this point on.
“Magaling siya. Kahit sino naman tanungin natin magaling talaga siya. She deserves that MVP award,” she said.
“Hopefully, it will be the end of the issue between us kasi may sari-sarili na rin kaming buhay. I guess we’re both happy na rin naman,” she added.
Now that she is done serving her alma mater, there’s an entire horizon of possibilities for the 5-foot-11 spiker as she is also set to graduate from college by June of this year.
“Wala pang plano (what’s next). Pwedeng rest and vacation, pwede rin asikasuhin ang career. Pwede din mag masters. Graduate na ako ng June eh. So it’s all over na talaga,” she closed with her patented sweet smile. — By Mac Dionisio