ATENEO-Motolite spiker Jules Samonte was fueled by the motivation given by head coach Oliver Almadro before providing the spark for the Lady Eagles in their tight second-round encounter against the Tacloban Fighting Warays in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
Samonte was the sparkplug for the Lady Eagles as she provided the crucial hits in the fourth set to overcome the Fighting Warays, 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19, on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The UAAP Season 79 Rookie of the Year played her best game so far in the conference as she finished with eight points in just two sets played and nailed five hits of the team’s 11-2 rally in the fourth set to erase a 10-14 deficit and mount a 21-16 lead never looking back to seal their third straight win in the second round.
“It’s because he just told me to be ready at all times and you just have to accept your role in the team and just do your game always,” said Samonte, who played with quality minutes in the last two sets of the match.
Samonte made the most of the given opportunity although she had a slow start in their third-set loss but when Almadro challenged her in the fourth, it added fuel to the fire.
“Yung sinasabi is just to believe yourself always and don’t doubt doon ko lang din nakukuha yung confidence with coach O’s words,” the third year wing spiker said.
Almadro, for his part, was glad that Samonte stepped up to the challenge and proved her worth.
“Noong unang ginamit ko siya wala pagbalik niya, she accepted the challenge. I challenged her na it's about time,” he said. “When the opportunity comes, she has to be ready and Jules proved that she is always ready.”
Even she is playing as a substitute player, Samonte promises to be ready anytime he gets fielded in the court and be flexible on what position she will play in either an outside or opposite hitter.
“Coach O wants us all to be flexible with the positions kasi so we can't be choosy with what position we are going to play for,” she said. “Kunwari like tomorrow, I'll be utility, then the next day I'll be open (spiker). He just told us to be ready always.”