Home Editors' Picks UST’s Poyos, UE’s Dongallo go head-to-head for UAAP Rookie of the Year...

UST’s Poyos, UE’s Dongallo go head-to-head for UAAP Rookie of the Year award

THE UNIVERSITY Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) volleyball tournament has been spoiled with young aces taking the league by storm in the last two seasons led by Bella Belen of National University and Angel Canino of De La Salle University, who took turns etching history with successive Rookie-Most Valuable Player (MVP) coronations.

And as if the league has seen enough, this season is looking like another debut masterpiece from super rookies Angeline Poyos of University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Casiey Dongallo of the University of the East (UE) following their first fiery duel. Billed to go head-to-head for the Rookie of the Year award — and even the MVP plum — Ms. Poyos hammered 24 points on 19 hits, two blocks and three aces while Ms. Dongallo did not shy away with 23 points of her own on 22 hits.

Ms. Poyos got the last laugh as UST hacked out 18-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 win but the battle against Ms. Dongallo showed a glimpse of their bright future and UAAP’s as well.

Ms. Poyos, a product of UST high school that duked it out with Ms. Dongallo’s California Academy in multiple junior events. Before their UAAP encounter, both aces impressed in the offseason with Ms. Dongallo winning the MVP in California’s SSL girls championship and Ms. Poyos earning the Best Outside Spiker for UST awards in their podium finishes in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals and Pre-Season Championship

Ms. Dongallo, despite UE’s tough loss after taking the first set, returned the praise of Ms. Poyos in the first of their many battles to come in the big league this time around.

“Ms. Poyos is really a great player. Knowing her height looks small, she is good and strong,” beamed Ms. Dongallo, who tallied the best rookie debut in the UAAP women’s play with 27 points as UE beat Ateneo for the first time in 14 years in the opener last week.

And now, the bigger challenge awaits the top rookies this Sunday as Ms. Poyos and Santo Tomas battle the mighty champion De La Salle for the UAAP leadership while Ms. Dongallo and UE seek a rebound against Far Eastern University. — John Bryan Ulanday