By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts standout Jothea Mae Ramos has committed to join the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons women’s volleyball team.
The 5-foot-9 Ramos is tipped to be a worthy addition to the Fighting Maroons after leading the Western Visayas team to the 2023 Palarong Pambansa title and 2024 Rebisco Volleyball League National Finals gold recently.
Ramos will be the sixth player from the Thunderbolts volleyball program to join the Fighting Maroons, aside from former players Marianne Sotomil and Alyssa Bertolano, and current players Joan Monares, Jeanny Padilla and Nikha Cabasac.
Aside from Ramos, the Fighting Maroons have also secured the commitment of Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez, who came from the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles.
The 5-foot-8 Perez helped carry the Cebu City-based Magis Eagles to the CESAFI high school girls volleyball championship in 2022, and then another finals’ appearance in 2023.
“The UP volleyball program and the UP community are really happy for the commitment of these two high school standouts,” UP volleyball program director Oliver Almadro said.
“Aside from their talents, they will bring their aggressiveness and leadership to our UP [women’s volleyball team] beginning in UAAP Season 88 [women’s volleyball tournament next year],” he added.
The two Visayas recruits will be big boosts for the Fighting Maroons side that last advanced to the Final Four in Season 79 behind the tandem of Diana Carlos and Maria Lina “Isa” Molde.
“Itong mga ganitong recruit natin for our volleyball teams, we’re hoping they’re just the first of many,” Dolreich “Bo” Perasol, UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development director, said.
“We have full faith in Coach O na gaganda ang performance natin because of how he’ll oversee the development of all our veterans and rookies,” the former UP men’s basketball team mentor added./ASC, WDJ