The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles scored their most impressive win of Season 81, turning their supposed Battle of Katipunan with the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons into a lopsided affair.
The match nearly went to a fourth set, but a clutch 1-2 play from setter Deanna Wong ended a frantic deuce and sealed the win.
Wong had tried that same play with varying results throughout the match. Without the result in mind, Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro wants Wong to stay aggressive.
“Actually, what Coach O says is high risk, high reward. So laging that’s what’s in my head and I trusted myself lang,” said Wong, who finished with 16 excellent sets and two points.
“‘Di ko naman inisip na makaka-point siya. I did what I had to do, so it was instinct lang. I don’t know, I just played lang.”
Almadro believes he can squeeze more out of the 20-year-old Cebuana, who won Best Setter last season.
“I know Deanna can do better than that. Hindi siya magiging Best Setter for nothing. I’m really pushing her to be the Best Setter that she is and iyon naman ang meron,” said Almadro.
“Most of the time kasi players tend to be frustrated because they cannot do what they want to do. So I’m telling her to be patient – darating iyan, basta keep pushing yourself, don’t put a limit to yourselves. Maa-achieve mo ang gusto mong ma-achieve, and luckily – and gladly – Deanna responded today,” he continued.
“And ‘yung last point na iyon, it’s hers. Hindi sa akin iyon. So ibig sabihin na she has the ability, she has the talent, talagang she has to believe in herself and believe in anong capabilities niya pa.“