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Tiebreaker Times


Morado leaves Ateneo with chin up

It was frustrating at first, but the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles ultimately gained perspective on Season 79 after losing to the De La Salle University Lady Spikers in the Finals for the second year in a row.

Team captain Jia Morado was still upbeat after Ateneo’s heartbreaking Game Two experience. More than anything, she was proud of what the Lady Eagles have achieved in what was supposed to be a transition year.

“Some people will say na we shouldn’t be satisfied because we lost,” the Ateneo skipper opened.

“But, para sa amin, sayang pero ‘yung effort namin and ‘yung focus namin was more than enough to give La Salle a challenge.”

Observers had counted them out prior to the start of the season, doubting the Lady Eagles’ mettle to even make the Final Four. With expectations low — even within the team — Ateneo continued to push on in the post-Alyssa Valdez era.UAAP-79-F4-ADMU-vs.-FEU-Morado-2304 Morado leaves Ateneo with chin up ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“We never to expected to reach the Final Four kasi a lot of people said that nawala nga si Ate Ly [Valdez]. [They said that] it would be hard for us. For us, we reached the Final Four and we could have been satisfied with just that. But, we worked harder and reached the Finals,” the prolific playmaker reflected.

“We exceeded our expectations so we’re happy with everything we achieved.”

And after a roller-coaster four years, the 21-year-old is looking forward to finally going “down from the hill” and take a breather.

“I’m graduating. I think I’m gonna take a break lang,” the BS Psychology-major student-athlete shared.

Morado’s teammates definitely want her to return, though.
UAAP-79-DLSU-vs.-ADMU-G2-Morente-7576 Morado leaves Ateneo with chin up ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“I’m going to do everything for her to come back. Pero I’m still going to support Jia with whatever she decides to do,” said opposite hitter Michelle Morente.

UAAP-79-DLSU-vs.-ADMU-G2-Maraguinot-7567 Morado leaves Ateneo with chin up ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Everyone wanted her to come back. Pero, no matter what naman, I’m still going to be with her even if she decides not to return,” added open spiker Jhoana Maraguinot.

But during Ateneo’s thanksgiving mass, Morado announced that she will be moving on from the team as well.

#ReadMore  Ateneo outclasses UST for seventh straight win

“I want to move on to a new chapter in my life. It won’t be easy to understand but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about,” she told a gallery of Ateneans.

“This is Jia Morado, number 12 of Ateneo, signing off.”

Just like that, the UAAP suddenly lost two of the best setters ever, in a day.

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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