ATENEO de Manila team captain Bea De Leon finally played her best game of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball so far, thanks to the non-stop motivation of head coach Oliver Almadro and her supportive teammates.
Averaging just six points in five games, De Leon scored her first double-digit production of the season pouring 14 points — highlighted by four blocks — as the Lady Eagles earned their fifth straight win with a 25-8, 22-25, 25-16, 25-10 victory over Adamson University on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The graduating middle blocker attributed her best game of the season yet to her coach Oliver Almadro and teammates, who never stopped believing in her despite the declined numbers in her final season.
“I'm most thankful siyempre kay coach, kasi yun nga, he reminded me na I don't always need your points, I just need your voice,” De Leon said. “It gave me a lot of confidence na at least may tiwala pa rin siya talaga sa akin.”
Almadro hugged De Leon during the post-game interview when he learned that the skipper was hailed as player of the game
“(It’s) about time, about time. I really admire Bea, all of my seniors, kasi they really put in sacrifices in everything. Pinapadali nila ang work ko as a new coach,”the Ateneo coach said. “Sabi ko nga sa kanya, points will come. Darating din yan, basta patience lang.“
And of course, De Leon’s teammates Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino, Deanna Wong, Ponggay Gaston and the rest of the Lady Eagles, who keep on cheering her up to overcome her struggles.
“And definitely from my teammates na, sabi ni Ponggay (Gaston), they've been praying for it so thank you guys. They saw me struggle talaga, and mahirap yun gawing mag-isa,” she added. “So without them talaga, I wouldn't be able to do it, na magsa-sacrifice kami lahat to overload for one person.”
As she continues to find her groove in her final season, De Leon is sticking with the team’s mindset that every game is a must-win as they close the second round against National University on Saturday.
“Every game lang talaga, the mindset is we need to get it. It's a must-win,” De Leon said. “Coach Oliver says every game, every training is a championship game. So yun ang mindset namin and it's one game at a time.”