Dani Ravena: Coach Tai just told me to be always ready
"Siguro, I did pretty okay naman. Not enough pero I think for my first game as a player, I'm pushing myself. I did good, but I can do more." -- Dani Ravena
Rookie Dani Ravena, one of the four liberos lined up by coach Tai Bundit for Ateneo this season logged exactly zero minutes and zero seconds in the Lady Eagles' first game against the FEU Lady Tamaraws.
Her brothers, Kiefer and Thirdy even made fun of the dubious statistic, and even wondered why she was the most hungry in their dinner last Sunday.
"Sabi 'oy napagod ka?' Ako kasi yung may pinakamaraming nakain nung dinner. Pero sabi ko, nakakapagod kaya mag train!" Ravena said with comedic remorse.
But in their match against the NU Lady Bulldogs, she was chosen by Bundit to start as libero in the second set, with the Lady Eagles trailing 0 sets to 1, and her insertion in the game was one of the factors why Ateneo was able to force a fifth set against the red-hot NU Lady Bulldogs.
"Syempre may konting kaba nung pinasok ako pero the whole game naman sinabi naman niya [Coach Tai] na "Be ready, be ready." so you know, in my mind, inisip ko na lang yung goal ko," the 18-year old said after the game.
After all, this is not Ravena's real position, since she was only asked to play libero by the team.
Nevertheless, she complied to the coaching staff for the team's best interests.
"Maybe, personally di naman ako pumipili ng position. To be part of the team is an honor and to wear the jersey of Ateneo has been like my dream of min ever since so you know when I step on the court wearing that jersey, I feel na parang okay I have this role. No matter how small the role is, parang iniisip ko na as long as it helps the team, gagawin ko."
But when crunch time came, as Ateneo forced a deciding set and was on the verge of losing, inexperience showed from the youngest Ravena sibling.
Jasmine Nabor took advantage and nailed three straight points to give the Lady Bulldogs the 15-7 victory in the fifth and deciding set, and Ravena could only say is move on.
"Maybe dun ako kinabahan nung error ko nung una, nataranta siguro ako. Pero learning experience," the rookie said.
Ravena added that she wasn't satisfied with her performance, which ended with 9 excellent digs in 17 attempts.
"Siguro, I did pretty okay naman. Not enough pero I think for my first game as a player, I'm pushing myself. I did good, but I can do more."
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