Beyond the loss, it showed a lot of our potential -- De Leon
Out of all the games we played, that was the best we played so far and it was against the toughest team. It shows a lot of heart also -- Bea De Leon
Ateneo de Manila University team captain Bea de Leon seemed to have accepted the fact that the Lady Eagles’ chances of clinching the last semifinals berth is already out of their hands.
Even after a devastating loss, the fourth year middle blocker was proud of how the rebuilding Katipunan-based squad fared against the veteran-laden National University on Saturday.
“I could say it was a pretty good game,” said De Leon after Ateneo dropped a heartbreaker, 21-25, 25-13, 19-25, 22-25, against the Lady Bulldogs at the close of their Group A elimination round campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Beyond the loss, it showed a lot of our potential because, coming into the league, we knew were very raw,” added De Leon. “So there was no pressure on us.”
NU secured a seat in the semifinals and completed a sweep of the elimination round but not after facing a tough resistance from the former UAAP back-to-back champion.
Ateneo tried to extend the match in the fourth set with a telling run that saw the Lady Eagles overhaul a 4-11 deficit into a 16-14 advantage. Ateneo held a 20-18 lead but failed to stop the rampaging Lady Bulldogs from blasting a 7-2 rally to seal the victory.
The Lady Eagles dropped to a 3-2 slate.
“I'm very happy with how our team played this season. I wouldn't say I was that surprised that we played well. I always knew that it was in the girls,” De Leon said.
“I think we just need more experience. We're rebuilding and a lot of us are trying to get into our new positions,” she added. “Mahaba pa naman before UAAP.”
“Like I said, I think we showed how much potential we have this conference.”
Ateneo still has an outside chance of making it to the semis, but they will need to to pray hard for Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-3) to win against Far Eastern University (3-1) on Monday to force a playoff for the last Final Four spot.
The loss may have potentially shut the door for Ateneo in the conference, but De Leon would rather look at the bright side of their experience as they move on to prepare for the UAAP wars.
“Honestly, from my perspective, if we focus on the loss, that's a big negative and it's sad,” she said. “But there's another side to it. Out of all the games we played, that was the best we played so far and it was against the toughest team. It shows a lot of heart also.”
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