Marck Espejo brandishes his God-given talent for five years to send the Ateneo Eagles to unprecedented heights in the UAAP men’s volleyball.
Marck The Man
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2018 - 12:00am

Soaring Eagle hailed volley ’El Rey’

MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro gave the most appropriate description of top spiker Marck Espejo: “God’s gift talaga si Marck, hindi lang sa Ateneo, sa Philippine volleyball. Rare tayo makakakita ng kagaya ni Marck (He’s God’s gift, not just to Ateneo, but to Philippine volleyball.It’s rare we see a player like Marck).”

Espejo is largely considered the “phenom” of men’s volleyball – and for good reason. 

The 21-year-old outside hitter helped the Blue Eagles win a three-peat sandwiched by two runner-up finishes, sweeping the MVP honors in each of his five playing years together with a handful of other individual awards.

Espejo’s special talent came on full display last April 21 when he delivered the most dominant single-game performance not only in the league but in all likelihood in the history of Philippine volleyball.

He dropped 55 big points to will the Blue Eagles to a five-set Final Four victory over higher-ranked FEU that cleared the way for a rubber match in their Final Four duel.

Hindi ko naman iniisip yung points; ang inisip ko lang, kapag binigay sa akin ang bola, kailangan ko pumuntos kasi para sa team naman iyon and sama-sama kami sa hirap at ginhawa (I wasn’t thinking about points but making sure I deliver every time they give me the ball because it’s all for the team and we’re in this through thick and thin),” he said after that scoring spree.

The multi-awarded spiker admitted he feels reluctant to carry the tag “the face of Philippine men’s volleyball.”

Syempre, personally, parang hindi ako sanay sa mga ganoon. Sa akin, parang nahihiya ako pero sabi nga ni coach, blessing sa akin iyon, blessing sa amin sa team na ako yung face of Philippine volleyball ba yun o men’s volleyball sa UAAP (Personally, I’m not used to it. I feel embarrassed but coach told me it’s a blessing for me to be the face of Philippine volleyball or UAAP men’s volleyball),” he said.

Siguro pressure siya kasi syempre, pag sasabihin na ganoon ka, may expectations yung mga tao, kailangan lampasan mo yung expectations nila. Pero siguro challenge lang talaga sa akin yung ganoon. Syempre may pressure and siguro nasa akin na lang iyon kung paano ko iha-handle (It’s added pressure because people expect so much from you and you need to not only meet them but exceed them. It’s really a challenge how to handle it),” he said.

But Espejo seems to be handling it so well that clubs overseas are taking notice.

May offer abroad, pero syempre hindi pa naman sure, wala pang final decision (There’s an offer abroad but nothing’s final),” he said.

Coach Oliver hinted that the interested party is “a huge team in Japan.”

In the meantime, Filipino volleyball fans can still enjoy watching Espejo as he brings his act to a bigger stage – the Premier Volleyball League – where he suits up for the Cignal HD Spikers.

MARCK ESPEJO
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