Naisip ko UAAP 76 kami ngayon e -- Morente on young Ateneo
Mark Escarlote on Aug 22, 2016 09:46 PM
Nag-work ang pag-jell namin as a team at nag-work lahat so ayun sobrang happy -- Ateneo team captain Michelle Morente
The Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles are now through to the quarterfinals of the 13th V-League Collegiate Conference in a long bumpy journey that started with a couple of early missteps.
Team captain Michelle Morente described it as similar to what the Lady Eagles’ experienced back in UAAP Season 76.
“Parang naisip ko UAAP 76 kami ngayon e,” said Morente, who scored 21 points in the Ateneo’s 16-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16, revenge win over Technological Institute of the Philippines Monday evening in a playoff for the last quarterfinals berth at The PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
“It’s a young team. Hindi naman sa nagpi-peak pero doon kami nagtutugma at doon namin nalalabas ang makakaya namin sa loob ng court,” she added describing how the young Lady Eagles are slowly jelling together much like what they did three years back when Ateneo turned its season around to become one of the best collegiate teams in the country. “’Yun nga parang UAAP 76 ang feeling, ganoon ang feeling ulit noong rookie year ko.”
The Katipunan-based squad started on a wrong foot in their first tournament post-Alyssa Valdez era losing two straight games including their opening match with the newcomer Lady Engineers, 24-26, 25-14, 21-25, 25-18, 12-15, last August 1 in the preliminary round.
From that setback followed by a straight sets loss to San Sebastian where the Lady Eagles squandered a 13-point lead in the third frame, Morente said that the team learned from its mistakes and identified the things they need to improve on.
“Kasi first game namin ‘yun as a new team, bago kaming team, it’s a young team. Siguro nagkaroon kami ng jitters noong time na ‘yun. So sa ngayon sa mga past few games namin, na-gain namin yung confidence naming,” said Morente, who returned in the team after missing Season 78 because of academic problems.
The experience they gained according to Morente will eventually help them in the quarterfinals in Ateneo’s bid to return in the finals after a runner up finish behind National University last year.
“Siyempre sobrang happy kasi panalo eh, talagang nag-payoff ang hard work namin sa training,” said Morente. “Nag-work ang pag-jell namin as a team at nag-work lahat so ayun sobrang happy.”
In the next round, the Lady Eagles will take on UAAP teams Far Eastern University, University of the Philippines and University of Sto. Tomas in the race for a berth in the best-of-three semifinals.
“For experience na lang rin talaga. ‘Yun nga ‘di ba mga UAAP teams ang makakalaban namin so dito na namin malalaman kung saaan talaga kami pupuwesto o kung ano talaga ang galaw namin with them,” said Morente. “Kasi siyempre UAAP teams mabibilis yan, magaling sa opensa, magaling dumepensa.”
“Doon namin mate-test ang teamwork namin at ang pag-jell namin.”
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