Jhoana Maraguinot shrugs off ‘next Queen Eagle’ tag despite drawing high praise from Alyssa Valdez
Outgoing skipper Alyssa Valdez is glad to have a young dependable teammate in Jhoana Maraguinot. Jaime Campos

ATENEO sophomore Jhoana Maraguinot is having none of the talks dubbing her as the heir apparent of Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez.

Valdez, 22, is down to her last two or three matches in the UAAP and some are already labeling Maraguinot as the Lady Eagles' next leader.

On Saturday, Maraguinot even eclipsed Valdez in scoring to lead Ateneo over University of the Philippines, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21, in the semis at the MOA Arena. But the hard-hitting Lady Eagle, who scored 17 markers, one point higher than Valdez’ output, just shrugged off the succession talk.

“Charing lang ‘yun, ‘wag kayong maniwala doon,” said Maraguinot, who was in a hurry as her teammates have already boarded the coaster outside the venue.

During the post-game interview, Valdez said that Maraguinot is her ever-reliable teammate who not just delivers scoring when needed, but is equally excellent on defense.

“I hate Jo, I hate Jo because I love her so much. Whenever you need a point, whenever you need anything, reliable talaga ‘tong si Jo,” said Valdez, of her fellow Batanguena teammate. Valdez hails from San Juan, Batangas while Maraguinot is from Alitagtag.

For the hard-hitting sophomore, however, it was just pure luck.

“Tsamba lang,” Maraguinot said. “Kasi ‘yung UP sobrang galing din nila so hindi ko rin in-expect na ganoon ang lalaruin nila today. Siguro baka ng dahil rookie sila na-pressure sila.”

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