After blowing their first game in the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, the Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles have gained a substantial lead above all the other teams.
Ateneo are unbeaten in their last 10 matches, using their height and power advantage to overwhelm opponents. They were the first to clinch a Final Four seat, and now have the best chance at a twice-to-beat advantage.
Despite their standing, Ateneo co-captain Maddie Madayag declared that her team cannot fall into the trap of complacency.
“First and foremost, we shouldn’t be complacent kasi it’s not part of our character. We don’t want to show that just because we’re part of the Final Four, easy-easy na lang iyan,” said Madayag after the Lady Eagles triumphed over the National University. The league’s top blocker dropped 12 points on the Lady Bulldogs, including five kill blocks.
“So of course, ‘yung mga patapos na games, we really want to finish it strong pa rin. Hopefully, mas marami pa kami ma-improve on sa skills, ‘yung mga iwas errors na kailangan naming gawin.”
Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro reiterated Madayag’s thoughts, adding that the Lady Eagles’ goals remain a long way off.
“Well, we’re always saying that our mentality is to be better than our best. We don’t care about the standings. Iyon nga sabi ni Maddie,” Almadro echoed.
“Our mindset is right motivation all the time. We don’t care about the stats, sino No.1, sino No. 8, we don’t care about it. Of course we study it, but what’s important for us is right motivation; ‘yung mga lamang-lamang na iyan, it doesn’t matter. What’s important is you win the last game of the season, so that’s what we’re thinking. We’re not preparing for ito lang, we’re preparing long-term. We’re preparing hanggang sa dulo, na makaabot kami hanggang dulo,” he continued.
“Sabi ko nga, eliminations will not determine your character right away now that you’re in the Final Four, so basta nakapunta ka na sa Final Four, ibang usapan na ‘yung semifinals. So ‘yung lamang na mas malayo pa sa top standing, it doesn’t matter, so we’ll always think what matters most.”