Ateneo's Ahomiro opens up on 'rivalry' with Reyes

By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 27 2014 04:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 28 2014 12:08 AM

Ateneo's Amy Ahomiro goes up for a spike against La Salle's Mika Reyes in the do-or-die game of the UAAP women's volleyball Finals between the Lady Eagles and the Lady Spikers last March 15 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com.

MANILA – Ateneo middle Amy Ahomiro was thrust into the spotlight in the recent UAAP women’s volleyball season as, after riding the bench in previous years, she became a starter for the Lady Eagles.

“Kiwi,” as she is called by her teammates, responded in strong fashion, turning in a solid season and elevating her game in the finals, where Ateneo authored a stunning upset of three-time defending champions De La Salle.

While MVP Alyssa Valdez and standout libero Denden Lazaro got the lion’s share of the attention, Ahomiro also played a major factor in their finals triumph, as she more than held her own against La Salle counterpart Mika Reyes, who has built a reputation as one of the best blockers in the league.

Indeed, in an appearance on ANC’s “Hardball” on Wednesday, Ahomiro was asked by a Twitter follower how she felt that some volleyball fans believe that she “owned” her match-up with Reyes during the finals.

“I mean, I don’t think I owned her,” Ahomiro said. “But I had my moments, and she had hers.”

Statistics show that Ahomiro outshone Reyes in the four-game series. She finished with 19 block points, an average of 1.19 per set, while the taller Reyes finished with nine block points, or 0.56 per set.

Ahomiro’s signature moment of the series also came against Reyes, as she blocked the “Taft Tower” to score the final point of the second set of the final, do-or-die game, allowing Ateneo to complete a comeback from seven points down and win, 26-24.

“First of all, my favorite thing in volleyball is blocking,” Ahomiro explained. “That’s what I try hardest at. That’s my number one go-to (move).”

Ahomiro, who rarely got playing time in Ateneo’s “Fab Five” era, is thankful to be given the opportunity to be of help to the team this season, and credits head coach Tai Bundit for giving her the confidence.

“This year, I was just given the opportunity to contribute a lot to the team, so I was just happy to get a chance to play and contribute,” she said. “(The difference), I think, was in the confidence that Coach Tai instilled in us.”

She is also grateful to be part of the continued rise in popularity of volleyball, and believes that the heightening rivalry between Ateneo and La Salle, along with the general improvement of the quality of play, can only help make the sport even more popular.

“I think the level of volleyball has gone up throughout the years, and I think that followers have seen that volleyball is really a fun sport to watch,” she said. “I think that adds to it.”

“Also, the exposure that we’ve been getting – I mean, the games are live, and there are replays and everything. That exposure, and the fact that the quality keeps getting better and better – I think that contributes to the popularity of the sport,” she added.