ATENEO coach Oliver Almadro has been hard on Deanna Wong all season, encouraging the setter to make plays with his 'high-risk, high-reward' call.
Wong finally listened.
On Sunday, Wong dished off 16 excellent sets and delivered the game-winning drop ball as the Lady Eagles cruised to their fourth straight at the expense of the University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-15, 28-26.
The game-winner capped Wong's performance in this UAAP women's volleyball season. She won the Best Setter award last season but reeled to fifth place in this year’s race with 4.31 set average by frame through their first four games.
“I know Deanna can do better than that. Hindi siya magiging best setter for nothing, I’m really pushing her to be the best setter that she is,” Almadro said. “I’m telling her to be patient, darating iyan, basta keep pushing yourself, don’t put a limit to yourself, ma-achieve ang gusto mong ma-achieve.”
“Luckily, and gladly, Deanna responded today. and ‘yung last point na iyon, it’s hers, hindi sa akin iyon,” he added. “So ibig sabihin na she has the ability, she has the talent, talagang she has to believe in herself and believe in anong capabilities niya pa.”
Wong hugged Almadro during the post-game celebration, her way of thanking the Ateneo coach who strives to bring out the best in her.
The Ateneo setter said she simplytrusted her instincts and delivered the game-winning point.
“Actually what coach O says na high risk, high reward, so parang laging that’s what in my head and parang I trusted myself lang,” Wong said. “Di ko naman inisip na makaka-point siya like parang I did what I had to do, so it was instinct lang.”
The fourth-year playmaker said she is just trusting the process and striving to repay the faith of her teammates and coach.
“I think we trusted each other talaga, it was really about the team and what coach O keeps saying na trust the system, believe in Him and always trust yourself,” Wong said.