Lady Eagles getting a ‘reward’ after loss to NU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 22, 2017 07:55 PM
Lady Eagles getting a ‘reward’ after loss to NU
WELL-DESERVED. The Ateneo Lady Eagles will have an afternoon off tomorrow - just to focus on their midterm exams.

After coming out on top for eight games in a row, Ateneo de Manila University once again tasted defeat on Wednesday.

Surrendering a close contest that went five sets, the Lady Eagles were swept in the elimination round by National University.

Even with their first loss in a long while, there was no trace of disappointment on the faces of the still league-leaders. Assistant coach Sherwin Meneses even kidded in his post-game conference, “Sabi nga namin sa loob (ng locker room), ‘Nag-improve tayo, naka-five sets tayo.’ Kasi last time, four sets eh.”

In the first round, the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Katipunan-based squad in four sets.

Turning serious, Meneses said they weren’t going to get too hard on themselves just because the breaks of the game didn’t fall their way. “Yung breaks of the game talaga eh. Down the stretch, talagang yung break, nawala sa amin,” he said.

Indeed, Ateneo battled back from an 11-14 deficit in the fifth set to 13-14. In the ensuing play, however, Jho Maraguinot’s spike went long.

Along with the breaks of the game, Meneses said their tough stretch of four games in 11 days took its toll on them. “Siguro, dito lumabas yung pagod nung four games straight namin tapos five sets pa. Nung pangalawang game pa lang nun, pinoproblema na namin yung schedule,” he shared.

He then continued, “Yung mga bata, may mga iniinda na nga kasi tuloy-tuloy ang ensayo, tuloy-tuloy ang laro.”

Adding to that already heavy load, the Lady Eagles just so happened to be right in the middle of their midterm exam week. “Alam mo naman sila pag-exam week, grabe sila talaga. Yung iba, ‘di na masyado nakakatulog,” Meneses expressed.

Jho Maraguinot could only agree. “Mahirap, as in mahirap (yung schedule) kasi sumabay siya sa midterms namin. So parang yung iba sa amin, talagang hindi nakaka-training din minsan,” she said.

She then continued, “Or pagdating sa training, pagod tapos after training, mag-aaral ka na naman. Kulang yung time to rest.”

That is exactly why Meneses and the coaching staff had good news for their girls after their defeat. “Stressed talaga yung players sa exam (tapos) games. Bukas nga, morning lang kami (mag-practice), wala kaming afternoon,” he said.

He also added, while laughing, “So magaan agad bukas kahit talo. O diba, may reward? Kahit talo, may reward.”

Yes, as it turns out, having one practice in one day instead of two is a reward for these hardworking student-athletes.

In the end, Ateneo remains upbeat even with their first loss in a long while because it still owns the number one spot. “We were never after the winning streak. That was not our goal,” Bea De Leon expressed.

Meneses seconded the sentiment. Talking about the morale of the team, he said, “Hindi bumaba. Sabi nga namin kanina, ‘Natalo tayo, pero may reward tayo.’”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @rieogogogo.

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