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Deanna Wong was supposed to have Ateneo swansong in UAAP 83

Back in June of 2020, Deanna Wong signed with Choco Mucho.

Had the PVL season pushed through, the 5-foot-8 setter was supposed to use that stint as a warm-up for her return to Ateneo.

Yes, the 22-year-old playmaker was set to play out her final year with the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 83.

“Iilan lang talaga yung graduating namin. Si Ponggay [Gaston] and Deanna, extended dapat sila last year,” shared decorated Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro.

In her fourth year of duty for Ateneo, Wong steered the Lady Eagles to the UAAP Season 81 championship.

But the stress of that campaign took a toll on her as she opted to sit out Season 82 to focus on life outside of volleyball.

During that time, Wong was able to get her degree and travel.

Refreshed, Almadro bared that Wong was ready to have her last dance with Ateneo had the UAAP pushed through with its plans of playing out its men’s basketball and women’s volleyball tournaments in either March or April of 2021.

“Of course, nakaka-frustrate kasi they were not able to play out their final year,” expressed Almadro as Season 83 was ultimately scrapped due to the on-going pandemic.

Though he would want to have all his seniors back for one last run in Ateneo, Almadro, who is also the head coach for now-pro team Choco Mucho, won’t force his players to return come Season 84. And besides, it will be too much to ask student-athletes like Gaston and Wong to extend twice already.

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“Si Jules [Samonte] na lang yung might extend sa amin and the rest baka too much of an extension na,” shared Almadro.

“Lalabas si Ponggay and Deanna twice na nag-extend.”

Wong will just turn 23 on July 18 while Gaston turns 24 on August 27, making them still eligible for the UAAP.

But with the country now having a pro league in the PVL, Almadro would leave the decision of either returning or not to them.

“I don’t know if they will still continue to play out their final years since the pro league is coming. We don’t want to hold them back in their volleyball careers.”

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