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Oliver Almadro molding Jaja Maraguinot to be a leader



Tiebreaker Times Oliver Almadro molding Jaja Maraguinot to be a leader ADMU News PVL Volleyball  Oliver Almadro Jaja Maraguinot Ateneo Women's Volleyball 2019 PVL Season 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference
Photo from Sports Vision

Given the absence of Deanna Wong in the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference, Jaja Maraguinot has become a pillar of reliability for the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

The sophomore setter has stepped up to the plate in lieu of the injured Wong, choreographing the offense for the reigning queens of the UAAP in the off-season tourney.

Jaja, the younger sister of former Ateneo standout Jhoana Maraguinot, was the orchestrator behind the 3-0 start of the Lady Eagles. She generated 25.67 excellent sets per game, including a 33-set performance against San Beda on Saturday.

The playmaking abilities are clearly already there for Maraguinot. Still, Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro knows that his young setter remains a work in progress.

“Alam naman natin na si Jaja is a talented setter. Ever since naman yan,” said the multi-titled mentor, referring to the former Palarong Pambansa Best Setter. “But sinasabi ko sa kanya na kailangan mo pa ng leadership, yun bang… Kailangan niyang mag-utos sa loob.

“Kailangan pang maging aggressive, and yung attitude of being the second coach inside the court,” the four-time UAAP champion coach continued.

“Yun ang mino-mold ko – not just a leader by talent, but a leader through emotion and through thinking.”

For Maraguinot’s part, she acknowledges that she still has plenty to learn in order to be a clear-cut floor general. But she remains adamant that she’ll eventually have a better grasp on the leadership reins for Ateneo.

“I’m still learning na kaya ko silang i-lead, kailangan ko sila i-mando inside the court, and I should be the second coach sa loob ng court,” she bared.

“I mean, I’m trusting the process naman.”

Maraguinot also noted that her role as a sophomore setter in a team with upperclassmen has its own rigors.

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“Siyempre mas matanda sila sa’yo. You should respect them. And kailangan alamin mo kung paano mo sila sasabihan in a good way na hindi sila maiinis sa’yo,” she confided.

Nonetheless, Maraguinot is grateful that her seniors have her back, giving her a nudge to handle responsibility.

“Hinehelp din naman ako ng seniors — nila ate Ponggay [Gaston], ate Jules [Samonte], nila Dani [Ravena]. Sinasabihan nila ako na pwede mo namang sabihan yung mga bata… Kahit yung mga seniors pwede ko daw sila sabihan lalo na if panget na ginagawa.”