Faith Nisperos leaves Ateneo to go pro, joins Akari in PVL
MANILA, Philippines — Faith Nisperos has decided to forgo her remaining UAAP playing years for Ateneo as she turns pro and joins the Akari Chargers in the Premier Volleyball League.
After three seasons with the Blue Eagles, the 23-year-old Nisperos on Tuesday announced that she is moving to the next chapter of her career.
“Since I am already graduating, I have decided to forgo my UAAP eligibility to move on to the pros. Reasons for that, I believe that in my seasons with Ateneo, I was able to fulfill my duties by playing my very best everytime I’m on the court. I’ve learned a lot from my coaches, my teammates, even from my opponents each year,” said Nisperos in a video press conference organized by her management, Virtual Playground.
“But I have decided to learn by taking greater heights in the PVL. And, I want to be able to step up more out of my comfort zone because I believe this is the best way to hone my talent and my character as an athlete. I’m every excited to face and learn from the very best local professional volleyball players in the PVL,” she added.
‘YOUNG, PROMISING’ TEAM
Among seven PVL teams that offered her and Ateneo convincing her to stay, the graduating management student chose the young Akari Chargers under Brazilian coach Jorge Souza de Brito.
“After thorough considerations of all factors leading to my decision. I actually prayed on this, together with my whole family. I am happy and excited to announce that I have decided to bring my services to the young and promising team that I can grow with. This is Faith Nisperos, jersey no. 17, committing to Akari Chargers,” she announced.
She chose to commit to Akari because of the franchise’s long-term promise for her career, her familiarity with fellow Ateneo products Dani Ravena, Erika Raagas, and Jaja Maraguinot as well as De Brito, who handled her when she played for the national team in the 2021 AVC Club Championship, and she is also looking forward to learning from veteran players Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Bang Pineda.
Nisperos said it has yet to be determined if she will make her pro debut in the Invitational Conference in June or in the season-ending Reinforced Conference later this year for the Chargers, who missed the semifinals in their first two tournaments in the PVL.
Ateneo expressed its gratitude to Nisperos, who “has been an exemplary Atenean student-athlete as team captain” for the past four years.
[Blue Eagles update] Faith Nisperos, team captain of the Ateneo Blue Eagles Women's Volleyball Team, has informed the University that she will be entering the world of professional volleyball as she concludes her studies in Ateneo.
— Ateneo de Manila University (@ateneodemanilau) May 9, 2023
“We thank her for being a model student-athlete embodying the One Big Fight spirit inside and outside the court,” the school wrote in a statement. “We fully believe that Faith will continue to inspire volleyball athletes and fans in Ateneo and beyond in the years to come, all for the greater glory of God, ad majorem Dei gloriam. Godspeed, Faith!”
Nisperos played three seasons with Ateneo, starting in 2020 which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spiker from Davao returned to action in Season 84 and led the Blue Eagles to a third-place finish, losing to La Salle in the final phase of the stepladder semifinals. She also emerged as the 2nd Best Outside Hitter in the same year.
In Nisperos’ final playing year in Season 85, however, Ateneo missed the Final Four for the first time since 2009 as it finished sixth with a 4-10 record.
The hard-hitting open spiker scored a total of 228 points built on 209 spikes, 14 blocks, and fives aces, emerging as one of the top five scorers of Season 85.
Nisperos also led the Blue Eagles to a preseason championship when they ruled the 2022 V-League Collegiate Challenge, where she won the Conference and Finals MVP awards as well as the 1st Best Outside Spiker.
The 5-foot-11 student-athlete also had a successful high school stint with the Nazareth School of National University, winning four championships from Season 76 to 80 and earning two Season MVP plums and as many as Finals MVP awards.