Jia Morado, Ateneo Team Captain, Phenom Setter Will Not Return in UAAP Season 80

Image captured from Twitter via Rave Sengco

Ateneo Lady Eagles Team Captain and phenom setter, Jia Morado, shortly after they lost to DLSU Lady Spikers in the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Volleyball Finals kept mum about her supposed announcement that will later on shock the entire volleyball nation. After four years in the UAAP, Jia Morado is finally letting go of the UAAP championship dream as she will not be returning for her final year of eligibility.

In a community speech she relayed at the Church of Gesu, in front of thousands of Ateneo supporters and her teammates, she said: “I am graduating from the Ateneo, but I’ve also decided to graduate from the team as well.”

Clearly surprised with her decision, people were chanting “One More Year” before Morado made her speech. But everyone was disappointed and sad when she finally revealed that she will be “signing off from the UAAP.” Her decision to leave the team, according to her and a few sources, have been “decided early on” and everyone knew that Season 79 will be her final year. No hint of her playing her final game was apparent when they lost a heartbreaking five-setter against La Salle in the UAAP Season 79 Finals Game 2 where she exhibited her magic touch and prowess with 53 excellent sets in the loss.

“This is something that I’ve decided even before, and I just chose to keep it to myself because I wanted to stay focused on the team and go for the championship, or wherever God will take us,” Morado revealed.

It seems that the BS Psychology senior of the Ateneo Lady Eagles has other plans than volleyball. It can be recalled that early this year, volleyball fans nationwide went berserk when she did not make the national team line-up.

In her four years in the league, she became champion twice, both in an Alyssa Valdez-lead Ateneo team in Seasons 76 and 77. She became the Best Setter in Season 77.

Watch the full video of her community speech here:

Morado expressed how grateful and honored she was to play for the blue and white and that she was able to enter her dream course at her dream school. She also thanked her mentor, Coach Tai Bundit, and the entire community for their never-ending support.

Morado ended her speech with: “I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life,” she said. “I want to thank everyone. It has been a great honor to play for the Ateneo for the past four years. And I know that I will never stop supporting the team, no matter what. I will always be part of the Ateneo community.”

Goosebumps and sad vibes haunt the entire church after she finally dotted her speech with: “This is Jia Morado, #12 of the Ateneo Lady Eagles, signing off… from the UAAP.”

As per Cheesms, UAAP Season 79 reporter, Michelle Morente, Morado’s batchmate and teammate is still trying to convince her to play next season. Her departure from Ateneo Lady Eagles will surely be a big blow to the team as they will be starting their UAAP Season 80 campaign without a setter and libero (a task which Gizelle Tan had to cover since last season). It is still unknown at this point if Coach Tai Bundit will also be leaving the team.

Consequently, her counterpart setter in archnemesis DLSU Lady Spikers Kim Fajardo had a solid farewell, earlier in the UAAP Season 79. The DLSU Team Captain won her third Best Setter award this year.

Fact-checked against the following source(s) :

Guidon Sports, ABS-CBN Sports