Bea de Leon lauds Ateneo bench after stepping up in morale-boosting win over La Salle
Bea de Leon fired 14 points but found ample support from the Ateneo bench. Jerome Ascano

PLAYING without its ace spiker against rival La Salle put Ateneo's character to the test.

But the Lady Eagles passed with flying colors as they hammered out a 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 victory in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday even without Jho Maraguinot, who sat out the match to rest.

For Bea de Leon, the victory was a big confidence boost for the Lady Eagles heading into the semifinals against Far Eastern University.

"That's good for us because even though we're undermanned and not complete, we saw we can deliver even with our bench players," said De Leon, who finished with 14 points.

[See Sweet repeat for Lady Eagles]

De Leon admitted they didn't expect come out on top especially after dropping the opening set, 12-25. 

But after getting excellent play from the bench, the Lady Eagles were able to climb back from a set down to claim the win and the top spot in the standings with a 12-2 card.

Among the bench players who stepped up, De Leon made special mention of rookie Jules Samonte, who provided the spark off the bench with 10 points.

"Sobrang galing lang na nag-deliver lahat, most of all si Jules," she said of the rookie.

"She's been doing well and we've always been waiting for her to get this break and we're very happy about it," she added. 

[See Jules Samonte proudly carries out rookie duties after breakout game]

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