Michelle Morente, a fixture in Ateneo’s championship run last year, hasn’t been used as much since the start of this year’s tournament. Lately, she continues to improve by leaps and bounds, especially in the Lady Eagles’ recent game against UST, where Morente contributed 11 points in the victory. We were able to have a quick chat with Morente after her team’s big win.
Morente told us that she had been battling a recurring flu during the Christmas break, which kept her out of a couple of games. She’s extremely happy that she is finally able to get back into the court and help her team compete.
“Nung Christmas break trinangkaso ako, and then gumaling for two weeks, tapos bumalik ulit yung trangkaso ko. That’s why I haven’t played for the past few games. Nagrerecover lang ako nung past few games. Buti nalang naka-full recovery na ako.”
“Sobrang thankful lang ako na nakakapaglaro na ulit ako sa court. Sobrang happy ako kasi parang, yung lahat ng trinaining ko, sobrang worth it talaga. Sobrang happy lang.”
While she didn’t want her teammates to get infected by her recurring flu, one thing that is truly infectious about Morente is her constant happiness. She is always wearing a smile, cheering her team on, in or out of the court. What is her secret? Why is she always smiling and laughing, even if her team commits errors?
“Pag nagka-error tatawanan nalang. Kasi wala naman magagawa kung huhugutin pa namin, so ayun, let go nalang. So ako sabi ko ‘OK lang yan, look forward nalang tayo, kalimutin na natin yun.’ Kung ano kaya ko ibigay sa team, binibigay ko talaga. Kung maging tanga ako sa loob ng court, OK lang, basta maging masaya sila. Kung yun lang mabibigay ko sa team, then why not diba?”
“Sa training kasi pag nagkakamali kami or something, tatawanan lang namin. Minsan hindi namin alam yung ginagawa namin, tapos minsan pag may masasave kami na akala namin hindi, yun tatawanan lang talaga namin. Sabi kasi ni Coach Tai, if you play happy, mas gaganda yung laro mo. Kasi pag sumimangot ka sa loob ng court, mas lalo kang manggigigil at lalong hindi lalabas yung laro mo. So yun sinasabi niya laging lagi, ‘play happy, play happy”
The Lady Eagles face the winless UE Lady Warriors next, this Sunday. If Ateneo succeeds in winning their last two games, they automatically qualify for the finals and earn a thrice-to-beat advantage.