June 14, 2024

UAAP: Finals MVP Alyssa Solomon just hits different and she tells why

UAAP: Finals MVP Alyssa Solomon just hits different and she tells why
Alyssa Solomon was named the Finals MVP after her monstrous performances in two matches against the UST Golden Tigresses. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Alyssa Solomon is simply different during the UAAP Finals.

Following her subpar elimination round and Final Four performances, Solomon turned things around for National University in the Season 86 Finals against the University of Santo Tomas.

In Game 1, the 22-year-old opposite hitter fired 17 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a straight-set victory over the Golden Tigresses.

She had valuable "sermon" from NU product Jaja Santiago prior to the Finals. It worked wonders for Solomon.

[ALSO READ: From "sermon" to Game 1 hero: NU's Alyssa Solomon takes advice from Jaja Santiago and Taka Minowa to heart in UAAP Finals]

Come Game 2, the newly-minted Best Opposite Hitter upped her performance even further as Solomon finished with 27 points on 20 attacks, four blocks, and three service aces en route to the championship.

Jaja was one proud ate.

@onesportsphl “Dahil sa willingness niya talaga mag-improve every game.” Jaja Santiago is nothing but proud of Alyssa Solomon’s growth and how she leads the NU Lady Bulldogs. #OSOnTheSpot #UAAPSeason86 #FuelingTheFuture ? original sound - OneSportsPHL
But what exactly makes Solomon different in the Finals?

 

“Siguro ‘yung competitiveness ko sa katawan, lumalabas. Parang hindi ako papayag na ginaganyan ‘yung team ko. Kailangan mas lumaban kami. Nakita ko rin naman ‘yung teammates ko na lumalaban lahat para sa amin,” Solomon told reporters after the post-game press conference.

In her three seasons in the UAAP, Solomon has always had solid scoring averages in the Finals.

In Season 84, Solomon averaged 16.5 points in NU’s sweep of De La Salle University.

She followed that up in Season 85 with a whopping 31.0 points, including her career-high 34 points in Game 2.

As NU snatched its second UAAP crown in three years, Solomon owed their development in the collegiate league to their previous coaches.

Solomon was among the notable individuals who moved from Nazareth School of National University to the collegiate ranks. This group included standout players such as two-time MVP Bella Belen, Sheena Toring, Erin Pangilinan, Camilla Lamina, and Chams Maaya.

During their high school tenure, they clinched numerous championships under the guidance of coaches Babes Castillo and Regine Diego. In their collegiate journey, Karl Dimaculangan, currently an assistant coach at NU, guided them to victory in Season 84, securing the collegiate title.

“Siguro sobrang pasasalamat sa previous coaches namin na binuild kami para maging competitive na team at di basta basta nagpapatalo. Ganoong mindset,” said Solomon. “‘Yung hugot namin kanina, galing yun sa previous coaches namin na from the start to the finish, 100% effort.”