GRADUATING spikers Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag are embracing their well-distributed roles with fellow seniors in leading the young Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles in their Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference stint.
Behind their 5-1 win-loss record tied on top with BanKo and Creamline, the key for the solid start of the Lady Eagles was Head Coach Oliver Almadro’s well-delegated leadership roles given to De Leon and Madayag as well as Kim Gequillana and Kat Tolentino.
“I am delegating the load kay Bea at kay Maddie. Si Kim soft-spoken siya pero I’m training her how to be outspoken kailangan niya magsalita ng mabuti,” Almadro said. “But I really admire Bea and Maddie’s trust with each other now so I really delegate the leadership sa kanila talaga.”
“Maddie will be a role model sa team, ate eh. Bea will be my anchor sa intensity. Si Kim ‘yung soft spoken na mageexplain sa teammates, si Kat siya ‘yung, 'sige akin na yan,’” he added.
It was evident when the Lady Eagles overcame a 1-2 set deficit before beating Tacloban Fighting Warays in five sets, 25-18, 19-25, 11-25, 25-17, 15-11, with De Leon and Madayag, dropping 15 and 12 points, respectively, on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
“Kasi talaga 'yung totoong setup is Maddie is ‘yung ate. Ako, I'm the game captain on the court. She stays in the dorm and alaga niya talaga 'yung mga bata. Everyone goes through her. She's very strict, very forward. We kind of play good cop, bad cop. That's how they define us,” said De Leon, who had 11 attacks, two blocks and as many as service aces. “It really works out. Kapag wala siya, medyo loose. Kapag wala ako, medyo strict. It balances out. Siguro more on-court talaga ako kasi my role is to really motivate the girls and encourage them. Maddie overlooks everything, makes sure everything's going the right way para di na ma-stress 'yung ibang tao.”
The graduating middle blocker agreed with her coach, saying that Gequillana maybe soft-spoken but she keeps them together, while Tolentino is their go-to girl in scoring, averaging 18.67 points in their first six games.
“Kim is like our glue. She keeps it together, very calm, very mature. Pag nagsalita siya, alam mong you have to do something kasi she doesn't speak a lot nga,” De Leon added. “Coach calls Kat our scoring machine. She's our go-to. Siyempre, kailangan may isa sa team na kapag nagkakapitan, that's where Kat comes in. Kumbaga, siya 'yung sure point mo.”
For Madayag, it’s their way of passing the torch to their younger teammates .
“Of course, it’s really helpful na naiintindihan namin si Coach O na nabibigyan niya kami ng instructions and mabilis siya magadjust sa mga games. Siguro as a senior kami, ako, si Kat, si Bea, si Kim, we really have to help the kids yung mga bago pa lang pinasok,” said Madayag, who nailed five blocks for 12 points. “We really have to step up, we really have to show them na kaya namin para pag alis namin ‘yun ‘yung makukuha nila, na lalaban talaga sila.”
“Kailangan ko ipakita sa mga bata kasi kung ano ‘yung makikita nila ‘yun din gagawin nila kasi nga seniors even sa training. So if I show them the fighting spirit yun din makukuha din nila ‘yun kasi parang maadapt nila na I need to fight, I really need to fight sa game,” she added.
De Leon said that their well-distributed leaderships make the job of the seniors easier in leading the young Lady Eagles.
“A lot easier. We really apprecieate coach O delegating all of it kasi, as seniors, hindi mo kailangan isipin lahat kasi alam mo 'yung role mo,” she said. “We help each other, but, at the same time, may accountability kapag hindi mo ginawa 'yung part mo. 'Yun 'yung very important.”
The Ateneo-Motolite coach agreed and insisted that joining the Open Conference and facing club teams will build their character.
“‘Yung leadership sa kanila talagang nadedelegate nila and I really admire my players na inaaccept nila ‘yung role nila,” Almadro said. “Pero we are still way way far away from our one hundred percent in UAAP. I guess, we’re still forty to fifty percent and we still have a lot to learn, a lot to improve but I think these teams we are learning from them.”