ATENEO team captain Bea de Leon admitted that they played poorly and opening-game jitters took the better of them in losing to De la Salle in their UAAP Season 81 campaign opener.
“We played very poorly, I think that’s the gist, there were a lot of things going on in everyone’s mind, nerves —excited —it will be like that sometimes,” said De Leon after their 14-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-19 loss to La Salle on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
And even a graduating player like her still felt the pressure of their rivalry game right in their first game.
“I was telling everyone that I only get nervous for two things – my first game and Ateneo - La Salle,” said the middle blocker, who had eight points in the game. “So put that together, regardless of how long you’ve been playing, siguro I got really excited – it’s my last year, it’s Ateneo-La Salle, so talagang composure lang.”
Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro is sticking to the positives after their first loss.
“The good thing here is we’ve seen our worst but we’ve not yet seen our best so it’s the first game and UAAP is a long season and what matters is the last game of the season so we will take the positives on this game,” Almadro said. “Of course yung La Salle, their system talaga is consistent so pagka ikaw naging inconsistent ka mahihirapan ka talaga sa La Salle.”
As Ateneo tries to bounce back on Wednesday against UST , De Leon knows that the real Lady Eagles will show up to avoid a 0-2 hole.
“That wasn’t how I know my team, that’s not how I know we’re supposed to play. Mahaba pa yung season, it’s only our first game, it’s how you end it,” De Leon said.