Ateneo’s first-round loss to La Salle was a domino effect which started when the team’s reception crumbled.
Without a good first ball, setter Jia Morado struggled from start to finish which eventually led to a predictable offense, a complete contrast of what’s happening on the other side of the court.
Things have since turned around for the better for the Lady Eagles as they got their confidence back to stay in contention of the top spot with an 11-2 win-loss record.
Heading into their second encounter in 2016, spiker Jho Maraguinot says the only goal is to do better than how they performed the last time.
“‘Yung mindset lang namin kailangan lang namin maglaro ng maayos (at) maglaro ng heartstrong para manalo kami,” she told FOX Sports.
Though there’s no denying that Alyssa Valdez is still Ateneo’s main source of points, many of the Lady Eagles have stepped up to provide the much-needed support for their team captain.
Aside from playing ‘happy,’ having each other’s backs will be the defending champions’ most lethal weapon.
“Sa ngayon, kumakapit pa rin kami kay Ate Ly (Valdez) pero tinutulungan na rin namin ang isa’t isa,” she said. “Kunwari medyo nawawala ‘yung isa, kailangan hatakin mo siya pataas para lang hindi siya bumitaw. Guidance sa isa’t-isa.”
Taking down the Lady Spikers, who are boasting off an equally impressive 10-2 record, will not be an easy feat especially without the services of sophomore Maddie Madayag due to a massive knee injury.
But just like what the Lady Eagles have proven time and agin in the past 2 seasons, nothing is impossible.
With Amy Ahomiro back to her original position as middle blocker and Maraguinot proving to be one of the most efficient attackers in the league, avenging the heartbreak is not too far-fetched.
On Season 78 being her breakout year, the La Salle-Lipa alum shares, “Hindi ako sure doon pero ginagawa ko lang ‘yung sinasabi ni coach kasi nagagalit siya pag hindi ako nagsasalita. So nag-iingay ako para na alng hindi ako mapagalitan.”
As always, La Salle’s defense is expected to zero in on Valdez which gives a rather big opening for the rest of the Ateneo spikers.
If and when the Taft crew gets to neutralize the output of Valdez, Maraguinot hopes she and the rest of her teammates could carry the torch and deliver a big win.
“Alam naman namin lahat na babantayan si ate Ly so kailangan namin tulungan siya sa kahit na anong way na kaya,” said Maraguinot.
“Basta gagawin ko makakaya ko at ang best ko. gusto namin bumawi kasi goal naman namin every game na mapanalo namin,” she closed. —By Arylle Magtalas