JI-AMAZING: Morado is ABS-CBN Sports' Player of the Week
Jia Morado of Ateneo de Manila is ABS-CBN Sports' Player of the Week.
Many thought Ateneo de Manila University would have a hard time adjusting its offense in the post-Alyssa Valdez era.
Fourth year setter Jia Morado proved that the Lady Eagles are still as dangerous as before.
Morado’s superb playmaking helped Ateneo stay on the right track in its attempt to reclaim the crown in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
With the season already in its crucial stretch, the Lady Eagles secured the first Final Four berth sporting a 9-1 win-loss record to stay on top of the heap.
All of it thanks to Morado’s leadership, maturity and playmaking skills.
The team captain averaged 8.25 excellent sets per frame and 4.5 points per game in the Katipunan-based squad’s last two outings, an impressive performance that earned her ABS-CBN Sports’ Player of the Week recognition.
Morado tallied 27 excellent sets last Wednesday when the Lady Eagles swept University of Sto. Tomas, 25-10, 26-24, 28-26.
Her composure during that match kept Ateneo together as the Lady Eagles weathered the repeated comeback attempts of the feisty Tigresses.
“I think it's more of experience talaga, na I know how to handle well ‘yung mga ibang situations,” said Morado.
The Lady Eagles again banked on Morado last Saturday to outlast Far Eastern University, 25-20, 25-22, 17-25, 21-25, 15-8, for their eight straight win.
Three players ended up in double-figure scoring as Morado distributed the ball well to keep the Lady Tamaraws’ defense guessing. She registered 39 excellent sets in Ateneo’s 55 attack points.
“Very, very important (si Jia sa amin). Like regardless of the power of each spiker kung walang diskarte setter mo walang mangyayari and we’ve seen how effective Jia is,” said Ateneo middle Bea De Leon. “I’m just really happy I’m not against her because when in training when that happens I don’t know where to go.”
“Jia is really good, her composure in the court, her being the captain, her being the number 1 decision-maker. It helps us a lot because she really keeps us calm and her plays galing eh,” added De Leon, who averaged 12 points last week. “Basta mabigay mo bola sa kanya basta hindi pa over, she really finds a way to make something out of it and I’m really happy she’s my setter.”
But the setter refused to take all the credit for the Lady Eagles’ success.
“Nakikita ko rin ‘yung mga teammates ko, they help me out,” she said. “It's not just me, it's everyone inside the court talaga na nakakatulong sa mga pressure moments.”
With a spot in the Final Four already secured, Ateneo is now looking to clinch a semis twice-to-beat advantage.