Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles’ new head coach Oliver Almadro was understandably ecstatic to find out that veteran Bea De Leon was returning to play out her final year in the UAAP.
Tapped to replace Tai Bundit a few weeks after the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, Almadro knew he was up for a challenge to continue the Lady Eagles’ winning legacy.
With De Leon in tow, the Lady Eagles have a a gallery of seniors to lead the team to go with several promising recruits.
The outspoken mentor continues to be thankful for the outpouring of support from the Ateneo community, especially in their unrelenting effort to persuade De Leon on social media.
“Of course, we”re very happy that she finally decided to play and join us in our training and team activities right away. For sure, it will have a positive effect in our preparation,” thought the three-time UAAP champion mentor.
“The Lord answered the prayers of the Ateneo community and her fans to come back and play her final year.”
Almadro was quick to acknowledge the sacrifice that De Leon, along with other Ateneo student-athletes, had to take to play for the blue and white.
“I know it is a lot of sacrifice for Bea and also for Maddie (Madayag) na maglaro in their final year, siyempre because of strenuous training, waking up early, putting commitment also in their studies again,” he added.
“And the most important is them accepting the challenge to lead the team, together with Kat (Tolentino) & Ponggay (Gaston).
“Win or lose they want to be an example — to be a man for others and to do Magis — na instead of magpahinga na e they still commit themselves to play and sacrifice,” he closed.