JAJA Maraguinot is dedicating this UAAP season to her elder sister, Jhoanna, as they team up for the first time in Ateneo’s title retention-bid.
It is going to be a special season for Jaja as she is about to embrace a bigger role in orchestrating the offense of the Lady Eagles together with returning playmaker Jamie Lavitoria.
But what makes it more special is she will be teaming up with her elder sister for the first time as Jhoana finally decided to use her final playing year.
“Gusto kong ilaro itong year na ‘to for her like everything I do is for her, for our family and for everyone na sumusupport sa amin,” said the younger Maraguinot.
“Sobrang happy lang talaga na magkakasama kami. That’s our dream kasi na magplay kami in the same court,” she added.
Jaja was one of the many people who convinced the outside hitter to come back in the UAAP after skipping the previous season.
“Sobra ko siyang cinonvince. Kaya nung nakapagdecide na siya, sobrang thankful ako sa kanya kasi cinonsider nya na bumalik,” she said.
Jhoana, for her part, admitted that they still can’t say what to expect from their tandem since this is the first time that they will play together.
But she promised that they always have each other’s back.
“Sobrang special din nitong season na 'to for us,” the elder Maraguinot said. “I think na malaking bagay rin na kilala namin 'yung isa't isa na magtinginan lang kami, alam na namin 'yung gagawin namin. So ayun sobrang exciting siya at hindi ko rin alam ie-expect ko.”
Jaja showed a glimpse of her brilliance during Ateneo’s bronze finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference as she emerged as the Best Setter of the tournament.
“Nalaman ko (nung PVL) kung paano gumalaw sa loob, kung paano sila ihandle like pag nagkakagulo kailangan mapakalma ko sila. Nakatulong yun sa leadership ko,” she said.
Playing with her elder sister and seniors Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte, the sophomore playmaker Jaja is ready to show maturity beyond her years in orchestrating the set plays of the Lady Eagles.
“Sinasabi nila sa akin by that time na sige pagalitan mo lang kung nagkakamali kahit mas matanda sayo okay lang pagalitan mo lang kasi trabaho mo yan e. Ginaguide nila ako sa pagiging leader ko sa team sa loob ng court,” Jaja said.