Aby Marano lauds Mika Reyes' transformation from wide-eyed rookie to elite blocker in UAAP
Mika Reyes blocks 0.65 per set, second only to teammate Mary Joy Baron, and helps form La Salle's league-best wall. Dante Peralta

ABY Marano beams with pride at how Mika Reyes has transformed from a tall, gangly, weak-hitting rookie into an intimidating force above the net for the Lady Spikers this Season 78 of the UAAP.

The La Salle middle blocker is one of the top blockers in the league this year with a rating of 0.65 per set, second in the league behind teammate Mary Joy Baron, who averages a block per set.

With Reyes and Baron up front, it's no wonder the Lady Spikers lead the league in blocking with an average of 2.50 per set, and it showed on Saturday as La Salle's vaunted wall created more blocks than Ateneo, 7-2, that helped the Lady Spikers end the 24-match win streak of the Lady Eagles.

Marano was even ecstatic with one of Reyes' blocks during the heavily-anticipated match.

“After niya mag-block, sumenyas ako sa crowd na ‘That’s a block!’ Parang ganun. ‘Yun ang block,” said Marano.

Marano is glad Reyes’ hardwork is finally paying off just in time for her final year with the Lady Spikers

“Sobrang proud ako. Si Yeye kasi, nakita ko ‘yan na hindi pa nakakapagpasok ng service, sobrang lantutay pa ng mga palo niya, hindi maka-block. Pero ngayon, nakita mo na ‘yung fruit ng pinaghirapan niya.

“For a senior, nakaka-proud,” she added.

Reyes, though, remains modest despite the praise and attention thrown her way. She explained that her improvement is a product of her own initiative to step up some more as one of the leaders of the young La Salle squad, especially in the big match against Ateneo, to which the Lady Spikers lost six straight games prior to Saturday’s match between the old rivals.

“As a senior, kailangan ko ipakita na hindi dapat matakot. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, wala namang masama eh. Lalaban talaga kami,” Reyes said.

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