The Ateneo Lady Eagles are back-to-back champions. After clinching the Season 76 championship in four games last year, Ateneo has been on a tear, winning 16 consecutive games for their second championship. With the season over, an ecstatic Amy Ahomiro and Alyssa Valdez share with us their one-of-a-kind experience.
Alyssa couldn’t believe that they defeated DLSU twice in a row, both in straight sets. Especially since they were unable to accomplish the task during the elimination rounds.
“We didn’t expect anything kasi during the elimination, we didn’t win naman in straight sets. We did our best today, and we’re really lucky that we got it. Everyone played well talaga, and even La Salle played well. Si Coach Tai naman may game plan, and buti nalang nag work siya,” said Alyssa about the two-straight set victories in the Finals.
To the surprise of many, Amy “Kiwi” Ahomiro was crowned this season’s Finals MVP. Averaging 8.5 points during the two-game span, her size and length kept DLSU’s offense at bay throughout the series. When asked about her award, she modestly shared that her main goal was the championship.
“I’m shocked, I’m speechless, I’m very honored to have this award. But like Alyssa said, it makes it sweeter, but it’s all teamwork. We all did it together. The Championship is the main goal, so we’re happy to have had that. This is just some extra sarapness on the side,” joked Amy.
Comparisons of last year and this year’s championships can’t be helped. When asked about which one was sweeter, Alyssa couldn’t really decide, admitting that each of the championships was special for the team.
“Parehas namin hindi ineexpect eh. Last year kasi we were playing na yung mindset namin is nothing to lose, just play your best and everything to gain talaga. This year may pressure na eh, hindi lang sa coaching staff namin, kasi nanalo last year, kahit sa sarili namin kasi gusto namin i-prove na kaya talaga namin. Iba ‘yung sarap last year, iba ‘yung sarap this year, but then ‘yung sa amin talaga, kaya siya masaya kasi tulong-tulong kami. We play as a team and really enjoy the game, kaya masaya talaga,” shared Alyssa.
La Salle star, Ara Galang suffered a major injury during her team’s step-ladder game against NU, rendering her incapable of playing during the Finals. Without their star, DLSU had trouble keeping up with the stellar Ateneo team. But what if, hypothetically, Ara was able to play? Alyssa shared her thoughts on the scenario.
“Tight yung game, tighter than this. Si Ara alam natin makakagawa siya ng point, go-to girl siya ng La Salle. Iba din yung presence. So definitely, Ara would be a great part, sobrang iba ‘yung impact niya,” said Alyssa about Ara Galang.
Going 16-0 is a feat no team has achieved until Ateneo’s victory. The moment has yet to sink in for Amy, as she felt that all teams have worked hard during the season. Alyssa on the other hand, treated their run as a single game every time, crediting Coach Tai for the philosophy.
“We feel so honored to have this opportunity, we worked hard for it, but all the other teams worked hard too. It’s a weird feeling, being undefeated. We never went into games thinking that, we never thought about how many games we’ve won or how many games we haven’t won,” shared Amy.
“It’s just one game. Ayaw kasi ni Coach Tai na iniisip namin na madami kaming na achieve. We’re really happy. We’re really lucky to be here,” ended Alyssa.