Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines were going at it in the middle of the MOA Arena floor on Saturday.
The clash of the titans was as good as advertised as the first set came down the wire.
Come the second set, though, deafening silence rang around the venue as Lady Maroon Isa Molde went down with an apparent injury to her left knee and ankle.
And the first to approach her as she lay on the floor? Opposing coach Oliver Almadro.
Asked about his actions post-game, he answered, "I always pray for the safety of all volleyball players so kung may maitutulong tayo kahit konti, why not? It will ease up, kahit kokonti, yung nangyari."
He then continued, "We really hope na mild lang talaga."
Without one of its top guns, State U was unable to recover as the Lady Eagles only kept their foot on the gas pedal.
In the end, it was a straight sets win for Ateneo against UP in the so-called Battle of Katipunan.
As it turns out, though, it wasn't easy at all for the Lady Eagles to finish what they had started. "We hope, we pray that Isa's okay talaga, but we should've taken advantage (of her absence)," Maddie Madayag said post-game.
Of course, it was understandable that they got affected by the scary injury to Molde. "I think we got so fazed by what happened," Bea De Leon said.
Coach Oliver was of the same mind. "We were also bothered by what happened to Isa. Nasa mind and body namin bigla to play with precaution," he said.
Good thing then that Ateneo got back on track sooner rather than later. "Sabi ko naman sa kanila, we have a mission, we have a purpose - to give what we prepared for. Good thing they delivered," their mentor shared.
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