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Respect begets respect.

This is exactly what volleyball star Dennise “Denden” Lazaro taught a male fan who attempted to put an arm around her without permission during a photo op in Bacolod. In the said clip, Lazaro can be seen walking towards a fan who at the last minute, put his arm on the 25-year-old player’s shoulder. While she still granted the photo request, she moved at a safe distance from the fan before walking away.

A for ATTITUDE D for Denden Lazaro 🏐😂😂😂🙄🙄🙄🎉

Posted by Marya Ge-Ann Matsunaga on Friday, November 3, 2017

The 15-second, Facebook video posted by a certain Marya Ge-Ann Matsunaga on Friday, November 3 sparked a social media debate, with netizens quickly weighing in on the incident.

Some expressed dismay over the national team member’s “attitude”.

She has officially responded to the online hate that followed.

In a series of tweets posted on Sunday, November 5, the former Ateneo player did not back down from her bashers and addressed the issue.

“I apologize if I offended anybody with my action, but I don’t apologize for being me. To me, personal space is something I highly value,” she wrote. She also pointed out that random people invading one’s personal space “makes a person feel uncomfortable”.

Lazaro, also known by many volleyball fans as the Iron Eagle, was in Bacolod at the time along with other popular members of the Philippine Super Liga (PSL). They were set to play games at the University of St. La Salle Gym over the weekend.

There are others, however, who came to Lazaro’s defense, agreeing that the fan should have respected her.

As of writing, the viral video has already earned more than 2.6 million views, almost 29,ooo shares and over 32,ooo reactions.

But despite the negativity from online bashing, Lazaro thanked her friends and fans for their support.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has been sending me love and positivity. I really appreciate the support and understanding. To my friends and supporters, you are my rock,” she tweeted.

Adored by fans as an athletic and compassionate person who loves to smile, Lazaro is an award-winning digger, receiver and libero. She is also a member of the national team and is currently playing for the United VC (COCOLIFE Asset Managers) at PSL.

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