THE crisis that rocked Ateneo in the offseason will only make the Lady Eagles stronger in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, Maddie Madayag said.
Last October, the Lady Eagles found themselves at the center of a storm after some players reportedly asked management to replace head coach Tai Bundit amid a brewing internal strife.
The controversy grew so worrisome that i wasn't resolved until the school president himself stepped in, yet Madayag insisted there was something to learn from the episode.
It was all a matter of trust, the Ateneo skipper said.
“(I learned) to trust the process, (trust) everyone in the team, trust the coaches," said Madayag, one of the senior holdovers in a team that lost top setter Jia Morado. "Just trust. 'Yun talaga.”
Madayag was just relieved that they were able to overcome a difficult situation - and become a more solid unit in the process.
“After everything that happened, it made us stronger naman. Nalagpasan namin 'yung phase na 'yun,” she said. “Every team has its problems. Siguro, it differs na lang on how people respond. We faced our problems talaga. It made us stronger as a team."
Co-captain Kat Toentino couldn’t agree more.
For someone who has recovered from three ACL injuries, Tolentino is certain that from a major setback comes a huge comeback.
“I think the team has become super close with everything that's happened,” she said.
“All the obstacles and hardships that we went through has only made us stronger. It's very cliché to say that, but I really believe it,” she added.
Last year, Ateneo finished second to back-to-back champion La Salle and the Lady Eagles are hoping to get back on the Finals even without former league best setter Morado.
The Lady Eagles kick off their season against Far Eastern University on February 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena.