INTEREST in Saturday’s UAAP women’s volleyball match between Ateneo and La Salle at the Mall of Asia Arena was so big that schools sought more tickets for the highly anticipated game.
UAAP president Nilo Ocampo said that although the demand isn’t comparable yet to basketball games pitting the two rival schools, the league was still forced to decrease the allotted tickets for the Mall of Asia Arena due to the demand from schools for tickets to the historic event.
“Hindi pa naman siya katulad ng basketball na talagang mahirap ang tickets,” Ocampo said. “Pero mukhang sold out.”
The popularity of the sport has been rekindled over the past years not only because of the growing rivalries in the UAAP but also because of the sustained interest generated by the pioneering Shakey’s V-League.
In the case of the UAAP, the Ateneo-La Salle tiff has drawn unprecedented interest after their first round match-up which drew a crowd estimated at over 7,000 at The Arena in San Juan and saw several more fans turned away, prompting the move to the 16,000-capacity Mall of Asia Arena.
The second-round encounter between the rival schools is no exception as the hashtag "MOA Arena" became a trending topic on Twitter in the hours leading to the match.
The MOA Arena is also a reason why several fans wanted to turn up for the match, Ocampo said.
“Mas gusto na nila manood dahil may parking at mas malaki ang stage,” said Ocampo. “Due to the demand, nakiusap kami sa MOA Arena na kunin ‘yung share nila for the schools.
“Normally, 30 percent ang sa (nire-release sa MOA ticket outlets) pero ang alam ko, 10 percent na lang ang naiwan sa MOA Arena,” Ocampo said.
Even non-UAAP schools have shown interest in watching not only Saturday’s UAAP women’s volleyball matches but also in other games as well, a proof of the sport’s immense popularity.
“Alam namin ‘yan,” said Ocampo, referring to the interest of non-UAAP schools in the tournament. “Kaya MOA Arena also sold tickets.”