By: Ivan Angelo L. de Lara
While many people troop to the arena to watch the volleyball players strut their skills in spiking, blocking, serving, setting, and defending, there are also those that witness the games to admire the players’ good looks.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, PinoyExchange.com presents the top 10 Cutest UAAP Volleyball Players of Season 75. And while you have been used to seeing girls like Maruja Banaticla of the UST Golden Tigresses, Michele Gumabao of the DLSU Lady Spikers, and Fille Cainglet and Gretchen Ho of the Ateneo Lady Eagles dominate this list in the past, you will not be seeing them here now. Instead, you will see fresh faces, or maybe faces you have seen before, but have not really noticed since you were too busy ogling at the previously mentioned girls.
- 10. Princess Gaiser – UP Lady Maroons
Even before making her UAAP Volley debut, Princess is already a well-known girl because of her Milo advertisements. She is a diminutive, young lady who may just be the best libero UP has ever produced in years. As of this writing, she ranks sixth in digging and tenth in receiving. She is not afraid to sacrifice her angelic look, just to go dive for the ball.
- 9. Nicole Tiamzon – UP Lady Maroons
Another rookie Lady Maroon on the list is Nicole. She may remind you of your high school best friend you used to hang out with but has blossomed into one fine lady when she got into college. She may be thin, but this girl has shown that she is an expert in off-the block hits. The reason you probably do not know her yet is she has not been a consistent part of UP’s starters. But last Sunday, she was given a chance and delivered. She had 17 points—a record in her young career—to help her team keep the UE Lady Warriors winless, 14-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-12.
8. Jessey de Leon – UST Golden Tigresses
It is easy to root for this girl. Maybe because she has a waif-thin figure and yet is able to man the middle position for the Tigresses quite nicely. Or maybe because she is a cute volleyball player. She charms you with her beautiful eyes and big smile and her apparent willingness to learn. A quick look to her social media pages would reveal that she is also a “fashionista.” And some boys like girls with braces.
- 7. Leuseht Dawis – UE Lady Warriors
Just as her volleyball skills are underrated, UE captain Leuseht Dawis is sometimes also ignored in lists like this. That has to stop. With her tall frame and curly hair, Dawis is quite frankly, the most beautiful in her team, and one of the most beautiful players in the league today. She continues her school’s tradition of producing quality middle hitters. Last Sunday, she registered career-high 26 points in a losing effort against the young Lady Maroons.
- 6. Cai Nepomuceno – NU Lady Bulldogs
She may have stepped down as her team’s top scorer, but when it comes to the looks department, Cai Nepomuceno is still the leader in her team. This graduating player is a deadringer for popular actress Angel Locsin. Gifted with both height and figure, she has established herself as her team’s top net defender. Good-for-nothing guys may just consider their application to woo this girl “blocked.”
- 5. Alexine Cabaños – UST Golden Tigresses
Free Cabaños—many UST supporters may have joined this movement possibly for two reasons. One, they see that the reserve setter connects more with the starters than primary playmaker Loren Lantin. Or two, they just find Alex really cute and they want to see her play more often. This former UAAP Jrs. best setter from De La Salle Zobel looks meek and angelic. But during drills, you can also see her have fun with her teammates. Her twitter profile states the terms: Live, Love, Laugh. Many guys like girls who know how to do just those.
- 4. Cyd Demecillo – DLSU Lady Spikers
Photo from Go Archers
Call her the super sub. In a lineup that boasts of formidable stars, Cyd comes off the bench and makes an impact during times when Coach Ramil de Jesus lets her play. In their game against Ateneo last Saturday, Cyd scored back-to-back points which enabled DLSU to take the game in just three sets. But when it comes to the looks department, she must not be just a replacement. She should be in front and center. Cyd’s “chinita-morena” deserves a superstar billing.
- 3. Denden Lazaro – Ateneo Lady Eagles
Denden rolls and tumbles on the court and then wins the hearts of the people watching her. Former Ateneo libero Steph Gabriel was cute with her Oriental features, but Denden just burns the cuteness meter. Think Natalie Portman. Think Nina Dobrev. Think Boo from “Monsters Inc.” and you will probably get their semblance with this Biology student. Her smile is infectious too. But hands-off, guys, Denden is rumoured to be dating a volleyball player from a rival school’s men’s team.
- 2. Bebs Pineda – Adamson Lady Falcons
If you are a fan of an opposing team, is it possible for you to hate Bebs? She may be lethal, but she is charming at the same time. That is quite a dilemma. This open hitter has built a name for herself because of her sheer athleticism and the number of hair clips she sports during games. She is currently the leading candidate for the Best Server award. She has an explosive jump thanks to her best assets—her legs. Bebs has got to have the most impressive quadriceps in the league right now. You have to be very lucky when Bebs becomes your “baby.”
- 1. Mika Reyes – DLSU Lady Spikers
This list tried to avoid the usual suspects. But it cannot ignore the popularity of this towering player from Taft. Denise Tan, Charo Soriano, Rachel Daquis, and Cha Cruz—they used to be the poster girls of the UAAP. Mika may just very well be the heiress to that throne. When her name is called, her supporters in the Arena scream their lungs out. She is a combination of both skills and charm. When one gets near her, one will notice that her pores are just as many as the chances a ball would pass her block—near zilch. A quick visit to her social media pages and one will see that she is not afraid to poke fun at herself especially when she is with her teammates or her high school best friends from St. Scholastica’s College. Even a basketball phenom from the rival school has reportedly taken notice. Why won’t he? Why won’t we?
Who do you think should be added to this list? Post your volleyball cutey picks below!