Ponggay Gaston shows Ateneo the 'Happy, Happy' way vs FEU
Name a more versatile and pliable player that Ponggay Gaston, we'll wait.
Just when the Ateneo Lady Eagles found a reliable libero in Dani Ravena, she was then diagnosed with appendicitis.
To make matters worse, Ateneo was heading into their rivalry match-up against La Salle. without their starting libero. Come game day, the two-time defending champion Lady Spikers made relatively easy work of the Lady Eagles.
All season long, the Lady Eagles' glaring weakness was their faulty service reception and dismal floor defense.
Come the second round, the Lady Eagles then faced a dangerous and confident Far Eastern University squad that dominated UST to end round one.
Ravena was set to miss a couple of weeks to recover, and Ateneo was pressed for solutions to patch the glaring hole in their defense.
Then came Ponggay Gaston.
The versatile hitter, who could, and has played varying positions for the Lady Eagles was tasked to play the libero position.
Lo and behold, it worked.
Ateneo was humming against FEU, to the tune of an emphatic straight-sets victory against their first round tormentors, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17.
More than the improved floor defense and seamless attack, however, Gaston was also able to bring make the Lady Eagles happy. She considers it as a primary goal, even.
“Talagang 'yung focus ko lang is to do my job, and to make my teammates happy,” she said post-game.
It was a task the 5’9” volleybelle would deem “crazy”. After all, she also missed the game against La Salle, and was only informed of her new role the day before.
But Ponggay obliged. Aside from diving, digging, and receiving, she was dancing, prancing around, even singing for the cameras while on the bench.
Maddie: We're in the middle of a game, act cool— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 7, 2018
All this, to help bring out that happy-happy ideology the Lady Eagles so badly need.