JIA Morado likes what she sees as Ateneo prepares for its first postseason appearance in the post-Alyssa Valdez era.
Two days before Ateneo takes on rival La Salle in a battle for the No. 1 seed in the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball playoffs, Morado said a Lady Eagles side orphaned by Valdez has learned to depend on one another and play as a team.
While learning to cope without a formidable offensive weapon like Valdez, the Lady Eagles have turned to new attackers like Michelle Morente, Jhoana Maraguinot and Kat Tolentino who have developed confidence in the course of an 11-2 (win-loss) season, Morado added.
“‘Yung madadala namin this Saturday that will help us win will be teamwork talaga kasi hindi kami nagre-rely sa isang tao lang. So ‘yung all around defense (at) offense and service and blocking, doon kami umaasa talaga,” said Morado.
“I think (our advantage) mas nagiging confident and aggressive na ang teammates ko, and kami as a whole,” added the fourth-year setter.
Matches against also-rans University of the East and Adamson the past week have also allowed Ateneo head coach Tai Bundit to field second-stringers Ponggay Gaston, Jaime Lavitoria and Jules Samonte - any on of whom can turn out to be a 'magic bunot' in the playoffs.
Ateneo's new-found depth has not escaped the attention of Morado.
“Syempre 'yung confidence ng bawat player, kailangan namin this coming La Salle game, kasi kahit sino pwede ipasok eh. Lahat ng tao sa team namin, kailangan namin for that game,” she said.