Alyssa Valdez credits Jia Morado for keeping Ateneo attack humming

Ateneo hardly encountered a struggle in defeating Adamson, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, in their UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament encounter Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

The victory was the Lady Eagles’ 5th straight this year and if it looked easy, team captain Alyssa Valdez says her team has Jia Morado to thank for masterfully making plays.

“Hindi naman siguro sa nadalian kami. It’s more on si Jia talaga distributed yung bola, ang ganda ng mga plays,” she said. “Nag-click lang talaga yung mga first ball namin, mga defense namin today.”

Read: Will Adamson-Ateneo go the distance like in Season 77?

“Iba yung way of thinking ni Jia (Morado). Sabi nga nila mabubuhay ka talaga sa setter. Jia is doing a really good job,” the 2-time MVP added. 

Despite staying unmarked and riding on a 23-game winning streak, Valdez still sees some room for improvement.

“As much as possible, we want to maintain na maging consistent kami, less yung errors namin, and mag-perform kami as a team,” she said. 

After seeing rarely-used spikers Ponggay Gaston and Kim Gequillana see some court time, Valdez, who finished with 23 points, revealed her glee.

Read: UAAP Player Rankings 2.0: The MVP is heating up

“Everyone contributed today. I’m so happy na nakalaro sila,” she said. “I hope coach (Tai Bundit) is happy but not contended. Para ma-push niya pa kami sa mga upcoming games namin.”

The Lady Eagles will be facing UE on Wednesday, their final tussle before a finals rematch with archrival La Salle on Saturday.  

“We’re gonna (focus) muna on our game this Wednesday against UE. And then on Saturday, let’s see. But yes, it’s really a big game. But then for sure Coach Tai wants to think that it is just another game for us and don’t overthink,” she said. 

Read: With Ateneo struggling, Maraguinot gladly helps man the floor

“Just play and be happy inside the court.”

Aside from Valdez, Maddie Madayag and Amy Ahomiro made their presence felt, scoring 8 and 9 points, respectively. 

For Adamson, it was May Roque and Jema Galanza who showed their fighting attitude and combined for 21 points as the Lady Falcons slid to 1-4. — By Arylle Magtalas


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