Almadro on Espejo: ‘There won’t be another guy like him’
With four MVP awards and three championships in his first four years in the UAAP, Marck Espejo is on his own level.
The Ateneo superstar has been so dominant that his head coach Oliver Almadro feels Espejo is one of a kind.
“Like I said, there won’t be another guy like Marck. It’s like Michael Jordan,” Almadro said.
Espejo led the Blue Eagles to their third straight UAAP title after a thrilling five-set win over the National University Bulldogs on Saturday that also extended Ateneo’s winning streak to 30 games dating back to last season.
The 6-foot-3 outside hitter said it’s not just about him, but the whole team’s desire to win in the endgame showed.
“In the fifth set, it’s no longer about power. What matters is how every player wants to win, on how bad do they want to claim the championship. It’s expected that NU will give it their all. They don’t want to lose to anyone, especially to us,” said Espejo, who finished with 27 points off 25 attacks in Game 2.
“But we just focused and relaxed, trusted on each other, and use our heart. We thought about all of the sacrifices we had from the start and remember that we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in if not for coach O. So what made us winners was our brotherhood and family inside the court.”
That fifth set, Espejo said, is a perfect microcosm of how the Blue Eagles persevered for the whole season, saying that what drove their success was their strong bond and belief in Almadro.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team, and the reason why we win these awards is because of my teammates. Coach has pushed us and made us want to complete the three-peat so bad that even though he puts us through hard trainings, we always keep that goal in our minds. Though there are little disagreements, we knew we had to make sacrifices and diffuse our egos for us to achieve our goal,” he said.