ABIGAIL Maraño on Friday shrugged off criticism from rival fans who felt Ateneo's Alyssa Valdez deserved MVP honors more than her, saying the award was a product of La Salle’s splendid team play in the last UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Maraño said she was proud to receive her second successive MVP trophy which she shared with teammate Ara Galang, but insisted she did not aspire for the award during the Lady Spikers' run to a third successive league championship.
“Very overwhelming and blessing dahil minsan lang dumating ito,” said the Lady Spikers skipper. “You don’t play for the award, you play for the whole team.”
A debate has raged in cyberspace after La Salle's title-clinching victory on Wednesday, with opposing fans offering the view that Ateneo star Valdez deserved the award more than the La Salle pair after leading the Lady Eagles to a return trip to the finals.
Maraño merely brushed off the claim.
“Kung natanggap ko ‘yun, sobrang thank you na pinagkaloob sa akin. Kahit maraming mag-question, okay lang sa akin dahil God ang mag-jujudge sa akin, hindi sila,” said Maraño.
The 5-foot-8 center spiker, who will be returning for her final season with La Salle next campaign, also was full of praise for Galang who she has seen blossom into a legitimate star just a season after winning the league's Rookie of the Year award.
“I’m so proud of her. Nakita ko, parang nene pa siya tapos ngayon, makikita mo, eto na ‘yung product ng La Salle," said Maraño. "Isa siya sa mga reasons kung bakit umangat ang team namin ngayon.
"I’m so happy na nag-step up siya.”
La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus was happy to see the award stay in the hands of the Lady Spikers.
“Luckily, sa amin napunta. Salamat na lang dahil hindi naman nawala,” De Jesus said.