MANILA, Philippines – Even though he ended his UAAP career on a low note, there is no doubting the impact that Marck Espejo has had on the Ateneo de Manila University men's volleyball program, on collegiate volleyball, and Philippine volleyball as a whole.
The Marikina native led the Blue Eagles to three championships from Seasons 77 to 79, and to runners-up finishes in Seasons 76 and 80. He won the league's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in every year that he was in the UAAP, along with a multitude of other trophies.
With him leading the charge, the Blue Eagles became one of the preeminent men's volleyball programs in the country while elevating the sport to the national consciousness.
Espejo was unable to win a title in his final year, as the Blue Eagles bowed to the National University (NU) Bulldogs in the Season 80 finals. However, volleyball won't stop for the high-flying open spiker as he is set to compete for Cignal in the men's division of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
It will not be surprising if Espejo ends up taking his talents to another country, however.
"Si Marck, sana matuloy siya abroad," said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro, who will also call the shots for Cignal in the PVL. "Of course, also the national team. 'Yan ang next target nila."
Espejo, who had 30 points in his final UAAP game, admitted that there was already an offer for him to play abroad.
"Pero siyempre, 'di pa naman sure kasi wala pang final decision," said Espejo. "Wala pang signing contract, pero may mga nag-offer na."
Almadro said that Espejo already has an offer from "a huge team in Japan," but declined to go into specifics.
In the meantime, Espejo will first focus on the PVL Reinforced Conference, where he will once again team up with setter Ish Polvorosa. The new conference starts on May 6.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.