ATENEO star Alyssa Valdez said the sky is the limit for teammate Jhoana Maraguinot.
The sophomore spiker has been turning heads in the ongoing Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference where she put up Valdez-like numbers in one game which the Ateneo star sat out.
During the conference opener, Maraguinot scored 23 points on 21 hits in a four-set victory over University Santo Tomas in a performance that inevitably led to comparisons between the rising star and Valdez.
“Next Alyssa namin,” said Ateneo assistant coach Parley Tupaz of Maraguinot, putting the spotlight on the rising star.
Asked about her promising teammate, Valdez fanned the excitement around her fellow Batanguena by saying that Maraguinot is so talented she expects the sophomore to be an even better player than her.
“Bata pa lang siya, ganun na siya. Sobrang talented,” said Valdez of the teenager.
Valdez said Maraguinot, who took a two-year residency before finally playing for Ateneo in the UAAP last season, makes the game look easy being a natural athlete.
Unlike Maraguinot, Valdez said her game is largely the product of sheer hardwork.
“Siya kasi, sobrang talented, kasi effortless ‘yung ginagawa niya. Ako, effort talaga. Siya, sobrang relaxed lang. You can’t compare ‘yung laro n'ya to anyone kasi iba-iba ‘yung laro,” said Valdez.
“Kung iko-compare sa akin, I really started from scratch. In-born na sa kanya ‘yun dahil ‘yung family niya into sports. Malayo pa ang mararating niya,” said the 22-year-old resident star of the Lady Eagles.
Valdez added Maraguinot's work ethic and admirable attitude will only make her better in the long run.
“Sobrang bait na, sobrang sipag pa. Wala akong masasabi sa bata. Definitely, magsha-shine siya for Ateneo,” she added.
Ateneo athletic director Ricky Palou echoed Valdez's sentiment.
"Yes," Palou told Spin.ph when asked if Maraguinot is a natural for the game, "and she will get even better because she trains hard everyday."