BEA de Leon admitted that Ateneo’s slow start, combined with National University’s impeccable defense, proved a recipe for disaster for the Lady Eagles.
Despite enjoying a boost from the crowd watching the game live, Ateneo fell behind early before seeing their comeback bid crash, 17-25, 13-25, 25-19, 27-29, at the hands of the Lady Bulldogs.
“Slow start, super wala kaming receive, tapos sila super ganda ng defense nila today,” said de Leon. “Naging factor na angat sila, sobrang baba namin, hindi talaga kami nakahabol.”
NU had the game in control leading by as much as 20-9 in the first set and 21-11 in the second set.
Ateneo recovered in the third set but Jaja Santiago’s quick attacks from Jasmine Nabor’s sets lifted the Lady Bulldogs over the Lady Eagles down the stretch in a tightly contested fourth set.
The Lady Bulldogs also outplayed the Lady Eagles in attacks (49-41), blocks (14-7) and service (12-8) in a match that took an hour and 45 minutes to finish.
[See NU ends Ateneo jinx]
But de Leon was quick to brush off their loss and shifted her focus on their next game against Far Eastern University on Sunday.
“Naunahan lang siguro (kami), I don't know,” said de Leon. “The thing with losses, you should never overthink them too much. Let's say, ‘what did I do today to make it so wrong?’, or like, ‘what happened that gave us such a slow start?’”
“Sometimes it just really happens. And when it's a loss, you don't look too much into it,” she added. “Actually, in anything, the more you look into it, the more it's gonna make you overthink and the more it's gonna constrict you. So nothing too technical. Bawi na lang.”
De Leon top scored Ateneo with 14 points, from nine kills, four blocks and one ace.