JENG Bualee had a stellar debut for Ateneo, but the Thai expects more from herself as he bolsters the Lady Eagles' quest for a third straight title in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference.
The newly acquired Thai reinforcement came up with a second-best 19 points for the Ateneo squad, behind only Allysa Valdez who had 25, in a 20-25, 25-16, 29-27, 25-14 win over UST in the opener of their best-of-three semifinals on Tuesday.
But Bualee hopes to come up with an even better performance and, although she has played under coach Roger Gorayeb at San Sebastian in previous V-League conferences, the Thai player is determined to blend in with her new teammates.
“I was really excited, everybody is good,” said Bualee, who earlier in the conference played for San Sebastian. “I still have to adjust to the new setter, new team, everybody."
Bualee was referring to setter Jem Ferrer, a key piece in the Lady Eagles’ offense in the V-League and the collegiate wars.
“Jem is important to the team because she is the setter,” said Bualee.
Gorayeb believes the adjustment period will be relatively easy for Bualee since she has been in the country for quite some time.
“Kahit first time siya naglaro sa Ateneo, kilala na siya maglaro hindi katulad kapag ibang import,” said Gorayeb. “Andoon ’yung respect for each other.”
Gorayeb said that the team added Bualee to bring in more offensive weapons aside from Valdez and another guest player, Rachel Anne Daquis.
“Si Jeng kasi, ’yung experience niya, nadadala niya sa team. Talagang ’yung butas namin ’yung pang-gitna,” said Gorayeb.
Bualee said that she likes her chances of winning the crown. However, she noted that National University, led by the tall Santiago sisters Dindin and Jaja, will be a force to be reckoned with if they meet in the finals.
“I think we have a chance. But NU has very tall players. Medyo mahirap,” said Bualee.