Over the past four years, Bea De Leon and Jho Maraguinot have starred for the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, helping the team to one UAAP title and three Finals appearances.
On Thursday night, the two friends clashed for the first time. Maraguinot, who finished her collegiate playing years earlier in 2018, suited up for the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors and took on De Leon, who is headed for her final UAAP year, and the Foton Blue Energy.
Maraguinot played each set, while De Leon saw the court for two of the four frames. With the limited time they shared the court, the good friends couldn’t help but revert to their old ‘Happy, Happy’ and ‘Heartstrong’ ways.
“It was funny naman kasi, siyempre, kapag naiisahan niya ako, sobrang hassle. Pero, I’m sure ganoon din ‘yung feeling sa kanya,” De Leon quipped after scoring five points.
“On-court naman nagtatawanan lang kami. I knew na kailangan ko talaga mag-focus kasi tatawa ako doon otherwise.”
Knowing how serious De Leon can be on the court, Maraguinot definitely tried to get her to laugh several times during the game.
“For me, wala lang. Inaasar ko rin siya kasi ganoon lang din talaga kami. Seryoso siya sa game pero, ‘pag nakita mo ‘yung dati mong teammate nakakatawa lang talaga,” Maraguinot recalled after leading the Lady Realtors with 11 points.
“Parang training lang noon sa Ateneo.”
Now in separate chapters of their lives, the two Ateneans still confess to being proud of each other.
“I’m very happy for her. Just to see her back in form is great kasi she came from an injury. Knowing na hindi pa siya hundred-percent, alam ko na she has more in her than ‘yung eleven points niya today,” asserted De Leon.
“I’m just really happy to see her play.”
“Siguro, we’ve come a long way. I’m happy for her kasi nakita ko siya since first year siya sa Ateneo and ang rami niya ng narating,” Maraguinot closed.