NO Alyssa Valdez, no problem.
Sophomore Jhoanna Maraguinot stepped up in the absence of Ateneo's acknowledged star and leader, leading the Lady Eagles to a 25-11, 27-25, 19-25, 25-20 win over University of Santo Tomas in the opener of the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference.
With Valdez watching from the bench after being advised to take a leave of absence due to fatigue concerns, Maraguinot produced Valdez-like numbers by topscoring for the Lady Eagles with 23 points, anchored on 21 hits.
“Next Alyssa namin (si Maraguinot), at least maganda ang laro niya. Magaling ang inimprove niya,” said Ateneo assistant coach Parley Tupaz, who called the shots in the absence of Thai head coach Tai Bundit.
Amy Ahomiro and Bea de Leon also made their presence felt in the middle with smashing quick attacks for a combined 26 points as the Lady Eagles ruined the debut of UST Tigresses coach Kungfu Reyes.
Fil-Japanese Risa Sato had nine points in her debut for Ateneo while another rookie, Filipino-Canadian Katrina Tolentino, failed to suit up after getting injured in an awkward landing during the warmups.
Second setter Gizelle Tan, who replaced the injured Jia Morado, also didn’t disappoint as she registered all of the 23 excellent sets for the Lady Eagles.
Skipper Pam Lastimosa had 14 markers to lead the Tigresses while EJ Laure and Mela Tunay added 13 and 11, respectively.