If you’re wondering why Ateneo has bamboozled through the UAAP the past 2 seasons, it could be because coach Tai Bundit has molded the Lady Eagles into one cohesive unit.
Senior spiker Alyssa Valdez, MVP and champion in the last 2 years, shared how Bundit — the Thai mentor picked to replace veteran coach Roger Gorayeb after Season 75 — taught them to put the team above all.
“Yun (teamwork) yung tine-train sa amin ni coach,” she said. “It’s really a team effort every time.”
“If you get a point it’s not for you, it’s for the team. If you get an error, it’s not on you. It’s on the team,” Valdez elaborated.
That was none more evident than when Ateneo clawed back from a slow start to beat NU in straight sets last Sunday.
With their defense seeing it hard to keep the Lady Bulldogs in check, the Lady Eagles collectively took a deep breath and refocused on the game with the help of each other.
The result was a comeback win that highlighted the Katipunan squad’s teamwork.
Valdez, Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon finished in double figures while 2 more — Jho Maraguinot and Amy Ahomiro — scored at least 6 points.
Jia Morado strung together 33 excellent sets while Gizelle Tan, in her first-ever official game as a libero, had 9 excellent receptions.
Even though it was an impressive team win, Valdez believes they have a long way to go before reaching the form that will win them a 3rd straight UAAP championship.
“It’s the first match pa lang so malayo pa,” she said. “We’re really happy we got the first game. Sana hindi lang sa talo natututo, sa panalo rin. Malayo pa e.”
The Lady Eagles on Sunday face UST, which lost a heartbreaking 5-setter against Adamson.