SIBLING rivalry was hardly an issue as two terrific sister tandems turned in impressive performances on the second day of UAAP Season 82 women's volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena on Wednesday.
Power hitters EJ and Eya Laure were dominant in UST's heartbreaking five-set loss to NU while the spiker-setter combo of Jho and Jaja Maraguinot was steady in Ateneo's quick dismantling of the UP Lady Fighting Maroons in straight sets.
But while the Laures can draw from their past experiences as high school teammates to help the Growling Tigers bounce back strong in their upcoming games, the Maraguinots, who are teaming up for the first time, will bank on their unique link to fuel each other’s game moving forward.
"Never pa namin nakalaro ang isa't isa," big sister Jho shared with Spin Life. "Sobrang special yun for me kasi iba pa rin yung fact na maglalaro kami together."
Jaja added: “Super bago kasi ngayon lang talaga kami nagsama, and we’re trying our bests para magtulungan sa court.”
The siblings showed a preview of their special connection not only with each other but with the rest of their teammates as the defending champs dominated UP from the get-go.
Jaja rose to the occasion, delivering 11 excellent sets for the Lady Eagles. The comebacking Jho, meanwhile, picked her spots scoring four points while netting a few notable receptions.
But more than the numbers, the siblings made sure to be each other's source of strength in moments when UP mustered enough concentration to threaten Ateneo in the game.
“I use her as my guide sa loob ng court," Jaja said. "Pampa-kalma ko siya ganon kasi alam niya [kung] kailan ako nawawala sa sarili ko every time.”
The 23-year-old graduating player further explained: "Ngayon ko lang nakita na natataranta siya ganon, so parang for me, alam kong ako lang ‘yung makaka-kausap sa kanya during those moments. So ginagamit ko ‘yung [capability] ko para i-guide siya and silang mga bata sa loob.”
With the special partnership they share, Jho and Jaja are excited for what lies ahead for them and their team this season.
“Siguro we’ll help each other lang in everything," said Jaja. "Tulungan niya ako and tulungan ko siya in deciding when and where to set, saan ako pwe-pwesto, saan siya. It’s also for everyone, like it’s for our mother na ngayon lang kami nakitang magplay together.”