- November 25, 2023 11:10
By Trisha Marie L. Abuyan and Adrian Earl E. Taruc
Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw Mark Calado was hailed as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and 1st best outside spiker in the Men’s Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League (PNVFCL) last December 4 at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa, Batangas.
The fourth-year FEU power spiker captained the Team Dasma Monarchs into its first-ever PNVFCL championship with 18 points defeating Go for Gold-Air Force Aguilas whilst fulfilling his responsibility as a student.
Struggles as a student-athlete
From doing schoolwork and rigorous training, Calado needed to sacrifice his rest to juggle the responsibility of being a student-athlete.
“Ang hirap pumasok ‘di ba after ng training mo, mag-aaral ka imbis na [mag-pahinga], ‘yung training mo halos umabot ka ng five hours so kailangan dapat makapag recover ka (It’s hard to attend class after trainings, instead of [resting], you would rather spend your time studying. And sometimes, our training lasts for almost five hours so you have to be able to recover),” the MVP shared in an interview with FEU Advocate.
Making a name in the sport while still young, Calado was recommended to FEU— his dream school while playing in the Palarong Pambansa during his high school years.
Entering into his dream school, Calado used the importance of education to surpass and embrace the hardships of being a student-athlete.
“Hindi ko pwede pabayaan ‘yung pag-aaral kasi unang una ‘yun ‘yung nagpapaaral sa’yo sa FEU, ‘yun ‘yung ginagamit para maging scholar ka sa FEU (I can’t let go of studying because that’s the reason why I am here in FEU, that’s what is used to make you a scholar at FEU),” he then added.
Competing with the veterans
Invited to be the Monarch’s outside hitter by former FEU setter and also the 2021 PNVFCL’s best setter awardee, Kris Silang, Calado entered as the youngest, allied with high caliber players.
It was never a detriment for him as the veterans led him accordingly inside the game as they needed to face national team players' mainstays.
Despite competing in a highly competitive league and battling with the national team mainstays in the championship match, the MVP kept faith in his team that they could beat them.
“In the first place kasi siyempre mga ano sila national team player, so parang bigatin silang mga player… Pero napatunayan naman namin sa team namin na kaya naming silang talunin (In the first place, of course, they are national team players so they seem to be reputable…But we have proven to our team that we can),” he shared.
Bringing back the glory
After his successful stint, the open spiker still wants to play for the UAAP as he sees it as a different kind of experience.
Equipped with his PNVFCL experience, Calado is confident that he can help the Tamaraws to bring back the crown in Morayta this upcoming UAAP Season 84.
“Sobrang laking tulong nito para mas ma-improve ‘yung kakayahan namin, para maibalik ‘yung championship sa FEU (It is really a big help to further improve our ability, to bring back the championship to FEU),” Calado shared.
The Men’s Tamaraw last won the championship in Season 74, thus Calado’s next goal is focused on captaining the team for the awaited championship.
Eyeing the national team
Aside from giving FEU another championship, Calado is also hoping to take a spot in the Men’s Volleyball National Team.
His PNVFCL stint opened the possibility and opportunity for him to enter the national team and with that, Calado felt a bittersweet pressure as he has been in talks as a great addition.
All eyes are on the 21-year-old power spiker, however, he is handling the pressure positively, seeing it as an avenue to persevere and improve his performance.
Winning the PNVFCL crown, Calado and the rest of the Dasma Monarchs are set to represent the country in the 2022 Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship in Urmia, Iran.
(Photo courtesy of Puso Pilipinas)