MARCK Espejo may be the most celebrated male volleyball player in the country, but the five-time UAAP MVP out of Ateneo turns into a rabid supporter each time her lady love, former La Salle star Kim Dy, plays.
That's how strong the connection is between these two players from rival schools who have been a couple of over a year now and are still going strong.
“Syempre alam naman (ng lahat) na parehas kaming volleyball players and alam namin ang responsibility namin sa isa’t isa,” said Espejo, 21.
“Kapag may game ako syempre nanonood siya and nagchi-cheer siya, kapag naman may game siya nanonood ako ang nagchi-cheer. Pero depende kung sino ang kalaban ‘di ha," he laughed.
From being a lanky teenager growing up in Marikina, Espejo achieved superstar status in the UAAP where he won an MVP award and Ateneo's first-ever men's volleyball championship in his rookie year.
The high-flying spiker won three UAAP championships and cemented his status in the college league when he scored a record 55 points in a five-setter win over Far Eastern University in his final year, leading Dy to lead calls for his Ateneo jersey to be retired.
Espejo said he and Dy draws inspiration from each other.
“Sabi rin nga niya (Kianna) gigamit niya akong motivation sa mga games niya kasi ‘yung performance ko raw 100 percent,” he said. “Pero galing sa kanya, sa sinasabi niya, nakaka-gain din ako ng confidence.”
“So hindi naman ako lang ang nagsu-support sa kanya, two way lagi ang support namin sa isa’t-isa,” he added. "Kaya ‘yung iba sinasabi (star ako), ganyan, pero ang totoo cheerleader lang ako (ni Kianna).”
Espejo and Dy are now apart as the former plays for club team Oita Miyoshi in the Japan V League, but expect their relationship to survive the test of time - and distance.