UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Kat says no stopping Ateneo if they believe in each other

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 04, 2018 06:54 PM
Kat says no stopping Ateneo if they believe in each other
Kat Tolentino and Ateneo believe in one another

Ateneo de Manila University will be in the playoffs of the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Tournament for the ninth straight season.

Staying spotless through five games in Round 2, the Lady Eagles hiked their record to 9-3 – good for solo second and still within striking distance of league-leading De La Salle University at 9-2.

This, even after having a setter and a libero both starting for the first time this season.

And oh, that previous setter just so happens to be the amazing Jia Morado and that previous libero just so happens to be the solid Gizelle Tan.

But no matter, this new-look Ateneo side will keep playing, and playing as well as they have, even after the elimination round.

For the players, this is all because they stayed together whatever obstacles were in front of them. As skipper Maddie Madayag put it, “We don’t really play for other people. We play for our school, we play for ourselves.”

He then continued, “Sorry sa inyo kasi you doubted us. Watch us this season na lang and look (at) how we play.”

How they have been playing is nothing but great, especially in the second round, as Maraguinot has been her usual dynamic self while all of Madayag, Jules Samonte, and Kat Tolentino have kept on improving. Deanna Wong isn’t too shabby as setter either.

That is why, whatever tough task is ahead, the Lady Eagles have no doubt they could come through. “We’ve all had our doubts, but with this team, we’re super close and we trust in each other. It’s okay if others maybe doubt us, but as long as we believe in each other and in coach Tai [Bundit] and his system, there’s no stopping us,” Tolentino shared.

While they are glad to be assured of another playoff appearance, Madayag made it clear that they are far from satisfied. “Hungry pa rin kami. (This) made us hungrier. We’re not okay with this,” she said.

Specifically, the team captain said their sights are still set on a top two finish in the eliminations and the twice-to-beat advantage it brings. “Our goal is top two kasi it’s better na twice-to-beat. If top two, if we win sa semis, okay na, nasa Finals na e,” she said.

She then continued, “Kailangan naming mag-focus lalo. We just need to play our game, trust the process, and trust coach Tai.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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