JULES Samonte may have had the biggest game of her young career, but it still didn't excuse the Ateneo rookie from her ‘duties’ as part of her first season with the Lady Eagles in the UAAP.
Samonte stepped up as the unlikely hero for the Lady Eagles, sparking a comeback from a sluggish start to defeat rival La Salle, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19, in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The first-year reserve didn’t play like a newbie, scattering 10 points to add some much-needed offense in the absence of top hitter Jho Maraguinot, who was rested by the coaching staff.
Still, Samonte never forgot her responsibilities as a rookie, proudly carrying the team's water cooler after the match as she answered questions from the first post-game interview of her career and gamely posed for photos with fans.
"Yeah of course, rookie duties," Samonte said with a smile.
She did not really expect to play at all, but when given the chance, she made sure to make the most out of the opportunity.
"I actually didn't know that I was gonna play. I didn't expect it, but then, coach Tai prepared all of us naman to play," said Samonte
"It really boosts my confidence, but I know I have to work more and harder," she added.
Samonte deflected the credit to her breakout game to her teammates, particularly Maraguinot who never stopped in giving her instructions throughout the match.
"I'm super happy, I feel great because I know the team worked hard for it also. It's really the teamwork that brought us here," the rookie out of La Salle Zobel.
"She (Maraguinot) really gave me a lot of tips that really helped me play as well," she added.
Maraguinot was naturally proud of her younger teammates' performance in this game.
"Super proud of Jules. Nung start nung game when I was giving her instructions, talagang niyakap nya ako and sabi ko makinig ka lang sasabihin ko. She delivered and I'm so proud of her," Maraguinot said.