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After two-game layoff, Maraguinot returns to help Ateneo back to Finals

Sitting on the sidelines is frustrating for any player, especially for someone with Jhoana Maraguinot’s caliber.

The Ateneo de Manila University’s lead open hitter sat out her team’s last two elimination round matches to rest her knee, which she had injured in the off-season.UAAP-79-ADMU-vs.-DLSU-Maraguinot-0480 After two-game layoff, Maraguinot returns to help Ateneo back to Finals ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Although the Lady Eagles won both matches, it was still frustrating for Maraguinot to not be able to help her teammates.

“Siyempre, it was rough. I trust my teammates ng sobra pero — as a player, gusto ko pa rin makalaro,” the 5-foot-8 spiker reflected.

But the two-week rest turned out to be fruitful as she played a pivotal role in their semifinal match against the Far Eastern University. The Batangas native scored 14 points, most coming in crucial situations, to help lift Ateneo to their sixth straight Finals appearance.

“Sobrang excited kong maglaro kasi feeling ko ang tagal kong hindi nag-laro. So nung una, medyo shaky. Alam ko rin kasi na I’m not a hundred percent, so tinry ko pa rin na i-pace ang sarili ko,” the 20-year-old shared.

“Ayun nga, nataranta ako, may parts na nataranta ako kasi alam ko na hindi yun yung ginagawa ko talaga mismo kasi nanghina ako eh, may parts talaga na nanghina ako. Pero masaya naman ako na nakalaro ulit ako.”

Heading into the Finals against rivals De La Salle University, Maraguinot is looking to pace herself but still be a key player in their quest for a third title.

“Ayos lang, relax lang, sakto lang kasi yun nga, kinakapa ko pa rin ulit yung sarili ko sa loob kasi iba pa rin yung na-miss ko yung two games,” she shared.

“Iba pa rin yung tension, iba pa rin yung feeling na nasa labas ka at yung kailangan gumawa talaga.”

But with another week to rest before the Finals, Maraguinot has time on her side to get her flow back.

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Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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