June 22, 2024

Reppin' my school: Ateneo vs La Salle, PVL edition

Art by Royce Nicdao

One of the oldest rivalries in Philippine sports is that between Ateneo and De La Salle.

That Ateneo-La Salle rivalry extends all the way to volleyball, and it has seemingly been at the center of UAAP volleyball season after season after season.

In recent years, though, it seems like the De La Salle Lady Spikers have had the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ number. But what if we could see the two teams' alumni now playing in the PVL duke it out? Will the results still be the same?

With that in mind, we put together the best players from both Ateneo and La Salle who are now playing in the PVL to see who might come out on top.

Libero: Denden Lazaro vs Dawn Macandili

Lazaro and Macandili are arguably the two teams' best liberos in recent history, and they have done a stellar job in digging and saving points for their respective teams.

But, in this matchup at least, we may have to go with Macandili, as she has shown that she’s willing to dive for any loose ball out there.

Setter: Jia De Guzman vs Kim Fajardo

The two go way back in their battles in the UAAP, and they were big reasons why Ateneo and La Salle would always meet in the finals.

In the pro ranks, though, De Guzman has had the upper hand, with multiple best setter awards and titles to back her up.

It is safe to say, too, that the Creamline Cool Smashers wouldn’t be as dominating as they are right now without De Guzman.

So, yes, De Guzman gets the nod in this matchup.

Middle Blockers: Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag vs Aby Maraño, Mika Reyes

This is a battle of tall towers.

While De Leon and Madayag will easily have the chemistry advantage, the blocking and quick spikes of Maraño and Reyes will be too much to handle for any team.

There’s a reason why La Salle is known to be one of the best blocking teams out there and it’s because of volleybelles like Tyang Aby and Yeye.

So, advantage to La Salle here. 

Outside Hitters: Alyssa Valdez, Faith Nisperos vs Des Cheng, Ara Galang

Welcome to the PVL, Faith Nisperos!

Teaming her up with Valdez in this dream team would mean a deadly combo.

Of course, Cheng and Galang will have something to say about that, especially when they are in a groove. Overall, though, The Phenom and Faith are likely winning this matchup.

Opposite Hitter: Kat Tolentino vs Michele Gumabao

The two have very similar playing styles as they both use their powerful spikes to get points on the board.

Tolentino has proven that she can always be a reliable option for points.

But as of late, it seems like Gumabao has found a different stride in her game, winning the best opposite spiker plum in the PVL All-Filipino Conference with a league-high 40.43% efficiency in spiking.

This matchup is a little harder to gauge, so might as well call it even. 

Given these matchups and lineups, who would win the all-star battle: La Salle or Ateneo?