BEA de Leon may have lost the battle, but she definitely won the war.
The lanky middle blocker doesn’t mind losing Rookie of the Year honor to EJ Laure of University of Santo Tomas and Kathleen Arado of University of the East as she is more than satisfied and proud about Ateneo repeating as UAAP women’s volleyball champion.
“Hindi ko naman iniisip na (hindi ako) Rookie of the Year, basta nag-champion,” she told Spin.ph while proudly holding the gold medal hanging on her neck Saturday when the Lady Eagles completed a 16-game sweep of the tournament to win their second straight championship.
“It (gold medal) means everything,” she said. “I’m just so thankful na lahat nag-payoff talaga.”
De Leon definitely made a statement on her rookie season, which she capped by scoring 10 points and two solid blocks in the Lady Eagles’ 25-22, 25-17, 25-23 title-clinching win over the La Salle Lady Spikers at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But despite the easy way with which they swept the title series against the injury-riddled Lady Spikers, De Leon admitted Ateneo kept its utmost respect for La Salle.
“Coming into the game takot pa rin kami,” she disclosed.
“Everybody knows the last one is the hardest to get and sobrang takot ako coming to the game. La Salle is such a great team,” she added.
And notwithstanding Ateneo’s unbeaten run to the championship, De Leon said the Lady Eagles remained humble in their own right.
“Coming into the Finals, or any other game for that matter, wala kaming sinabi na amin na ito. Definitely not (complacent),” she said.