The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles avoided one of their worst starts to a season this decade after turning back the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses for their breakthrough win of the season.
Ateneo had gone to five sets in each of their first two games, but needed just four sets to break their Season 80 dry spell. According to senior middle blocker Bea De Leon, the Lady Eagles had turned to their tried-and-tested battle cry.
“I think we went back to coach Tai [Bundit’s] mantra of ‘Happy-Happy, Heartstrong’.
“We said that in everything we do, we have to do it happy, we have to do it together and we just can’t give up,” said De Leon, who scored 11 points against UST.
“It’s been hard. I think obviously regardless of your attitude, it’s really hard to lose. But like I said, we just have to learn to keep on lifting each other up,” the 22-year-old former Lady Eagles skipper pointed out.
Team captain Maddie Madayag added that the Lady Eagles simply continued to trust each other through their early struggles.
“I guess yung trust namin sa isa’t isa, kasi importante yun eh, pag wala kang tiwala sa teammates mo, wala talaga. I mean yung pinag-usapan namin na ‘pag may nagkamali, kailangan yung iba babawiin,” Madayag added after pitching in nine points against UST.
“I guess it’s really the teamwork, yung trust and confidence.”
Both De Leon and Madayag trust their team will get better on passing.
“Whatever happens, whoever’s there, they just really make it a point to do their best and that’s really good attitude for the team. It really helps,” De Leon insisted.
“I guess nakuha na nila (teammates) ‘yung pagkakapa nila sa receive and tumataas na yung confidence nila sa pagreceive. Kasi dati medyo natataranta pa pag nagkaka-errors,” Madayag concluded.
“At least nagiging better na but we’re still working on it kasi obviously kulang pa rin.”