BEA de Leon is glad to finally break out of a slump and thanks Ateneo Lady Eagles coach Oliver Almadro for keeping the faith.
Averaging 5.7 points in the first three matches, De Leon came up with a big game against the struggling UE Lady Warriors with eight attacks in 12 attempts in Ateneo’s straight-sets win in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday.
“If you saw naman my output the past three games, it wasn't where we want to be,” De Leon said. “But I thank coach talaga for giving me the confidence and the trust pa rin kahit na ganoon ang nagiging output.”
“He always tells me not to worry kasi part of it is, siguro nga, it's my last year. You overthink and gigil na gigil ka to do your best. But definitely, I put my mindset to whatever helps the team,” she said.
Almadro said he never lost faith in De Leon, crediting the 5-foot-11 middle blocker for doing a good job as leader even when she could not deliver the points.
“Sometimes hindi ko naman kailangan yung points niya, kailangan ko lang yung leadership niya,” Almadro said. “So with that, 'wag na siyang mag-worry. Kasi, if she's worrying about making points or helping in terms of statistics, sabi ko I don't need that. I just need your presence there. I just need yung right way in what you're doing.”
“Bea sacrificed a lot. She's been practicing all week, nagsasarili yan. All the players naman, they have their mindset of what to improve,” he added.
De Leon said she never tried to force it on offense, instead finding other ways to help.
“Kahit simpleng makakuha lang ako ng blocker sobrang laking bagay na yun para ma-free up si Kat (Tolentino) o si Ponggay (Gaston). I put my mindset back to the basics,” she said.
“One game at a time talaga, and we have to really prepare for every team,” De Leon said. “Every team this year has a big chance kasi, first round pa lang, ganito na ka-intense, what more the second round when teams are meant to peak 'di ba? So one game at a time.”