Morado delivers in flu game
Mark Escarlote on Aug 15, 2016 10:02 PM
Ateneo de Manila setter Jia Morado (no. 12) played through a flu and helped the Lady Eagles keep their quarterfinals hopes alive.
Setting her chills and dizziness aside, Jia Morado removed her jacket and went inside the court.
She has been battling fever for the past three days.
Ateneo de Manila’s offensive flow was in disarray Monday night in a do-or-die game to keep their quarterfinals bid in the 13th V-League Collegiate Conference alive against Perpetual Help.
Morado just doesn’t want to sit on the sideline and watch her team take the boot.
The veteran setter came off the bench in a heroic flu game to dish out 25 excellent sets while scoring three points in Ateneo’s 27-25, 25-13, 25-16, win over the Lady Altas in Group A preliminary round at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City to remain in the hunt for a bus ride to the next round.
“Si Jia kasi may sakit mga three days na rin (siyang may lagnat). Hindi na nga rin dapat palalaruin yan pero kailangan eh. Nag-step up naman siya,” Lady Eagles assistant coach Parley Tupaz said.
The incoming fourth year Morado immediately left the arena after the game.
Before the match it was announced that Morado, part of the 2015 Asian U-23 and Southeast Asian Games national team, will be sitting the game out.
But with the feisty Perpetual Help threatening to take the match as they led by five early in the first set, Ateneo coach Tai Bundit was forced to field Morado.
“Kanina hindi na nga pinapabihis yan pero noong huli pinatawag naman kasi kailangan,” said Tupaz. Pinilit na niya kasi si Deanna (Wong) nand’yan na rin pero (kulang pa). Mas iba pa rin kung si Jia (ang nagdadala ng opensa).”
“Noong una nilagay ni (coach Tai) sa first six si (Jamie) Lavitoria. Kaya lang di rin nasanay si Lavitoria ulit na ibinalik sa setter kaya si Jia pa rin ang hinanap,” added Bundit’s lieutenant.
With Morado inside, Ateneo found their groove and their offense flowed fluidly highlighted by a telling 13-0 closing rally from a 12-13 deficit in the second set that zapped the fight out of the Lady Altas. Morado started in the third frame where the Lady Eagles dominated Perpetual to barge in the win column.
“Iba pa rin si Jia kasi matagal na ‘yan at kumbaga super experience na yan. E yung dalawa wala pang experience kaya siya pa rin talaga ang hinanap ng team,” added Tupaz.
Ateneo could force a playoff for the last quarters berth with a win against the defending champion and unbeaten National University on Saturday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles