DE La Salle team captain Aby Marano has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philippine Studies major in Filipino Mass Media, but she is not about to celebrate - yet.
Not until she leads the formidable Lady Spikers to a fourth successive UAAP women's volleyball championship will it be mission accomplished for the acknowledged heart and soul of the team.
“Thirty percent pa lang ito, personal achievement ko pa lang ito," Marano said of her diploma. "Oo, masaya kasi once in a lifetime lang ito. Pero saka na ako magse-celebrate pag nag champion na kami, 'yun ang seventy percent na kukumpleto.”
Halfway through 76th season and Marano appears right on target.
The three-time reigning champions are still unbeaten after 12 games with the loss of only a single set so far and are already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
In the event the Taft-based school wins two more games for a 14-game sweep of the eliminations, La Salle will enjoy an enviable thrice-to-beat advantage in the Finals.
Despite earning a degree, there is also a tinge of sadness on the part of the volleyball star.
"Mixed feelings, kasi 'yung graduation ko signal na 'yun na malapit na ako umalis. Signal na 'yun pero, hindi pa tapos ang misyon ko sa team,” she said.
After her undergraduate degree, Maraño is set to take Mass Communications Applied in Mass Media to continue her playing eligibility for La Salle.