Much like teammate Gizelle Tan, Ateneo’s Jamie Lavitoria was also a setter prior to being converted into the team’s reserve libero back in Season 77.
And on Wednesday during the Lady Eagles thrust to their third win against FEU, Lavitoria finally got some playing time, proving her capability of providing steady first ball for the defending champions.
“Earlier, I was kind of nervous because that was my first time,” she told FOX Sports.
“The good thing is your teammates will be there to relax you,” she added. “You just have to take one game at a time. You can’t freak out because if you do, you’re gonna lose focus.”
The jitters did not get the best of her, however, as the belle from California finished with 8 excellent receptions, the most for the team during the game.
This, though, does not mean that the transition has been and will be easy for both Lavitoria and Tan.
“It’s hard because before, me and Gizelle, we never had much playing time and experience,” she shared.
“And we also lost Mitch (Morente) who was in the first six. You know, it’s really hard. There are times when we would lack experience,” she added. “But with me and Gizelle, basically we need teamwork. That’s all we need. It’s good to have different strengths.”
And while the pressure is mounting for both liberos to show the same grit as former teammate Denden Lazaro, who was vital to Ateneo’s back-to-back titles, Lavitoria remains positive that they are capable of bringing the same intensity at the right time.
“I think we can do it,” she said.
“It’s just one game at a time. We don’t think about semifinals or finals. It’s just one point and one game at a time,” closed the defensive ace. — By Mac Dionisio