In her five years in Ateneo, Bea De Leon has embodied the ‘Heartstrong’ spirit.
The fiery middle blocker has served as the team’s vocal leader and anchor at the net. And the eloquent 21-year old’s celebrations have become as iconic as her quick hits.
On Sunday against the Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors, De Leon began, what Ateneo fans have called, the beginning of the end.
Now in her final year of UAAP eligibility, De Leon could not help but be emotional.
“Noong nakita ko nga ‘yun medyo naging sentimental ako na, ‘Ay oo nga (last playing year ko na)’ and ‘yung caption pa niya ‘the end begins here’ so medyo nag-sink in sa akin,” De Leon recalled as she saw numerous fan posts on social media.
“So medyo na-sad rin ako, but definitely there’s no other motivation for me kasi nga it’s my last year and I have to give everything talaga.”
Her road to her last UAAP season started fruitfully, as the Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Warriors.
“Kami siyempre, we’re super, super happy that we won our first game. It’s a good start, its a good sign for us,” pointed out the Tarlac-native, who tallied 12 points against Pocari Sweat-Air Force.
“But for us, coach O [Almadro] always tells us na we’re not talking about the percent just yet because, even if we won, there are many things that he wants us to change and to do inside the court. But so far at least talaga we see a lot of progress.”
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