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    Play or move on? Jho Maraguinot faces tough decision after aborted UAAP comeback

    Jul 19, 2020
    PHOTO: Dante Peralta

    IF the opportunity presents itself, Jho Maraguinot would return for another year with the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

    It won't be an easy decision, though.

    "If given the chance pa, maglalaro pa rin ako syempre, hanggang kaya kasi masaya naman talaga maglaro," she told The Prospects Pod.

    Maraguinot, 24, was one of those student-athletes who were supposed to play their final year this past UAAP Season 82 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted sports.

    It was her comeback year after all, returning to the Lady Eagles for one last run to be able to play side-by-side with her sister Jaja.

    "Personally, yung reason ko kasi is first time ko maglalaro with my sister, so parang sobrang excited ako. Like everyone in the family, sobrang excited na maglalaro kami together. And alam namin din sa pinagdaanan namin sa training na magiging maganda yung season," she said.

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    Ateneo, seeking back-to-back crowns, was sporting a 1-1 card when the women's volleyball tournament was postponed, then scrapped.

    The development was hard on Maraguinot, who skipped last season and played for Sta. Lucia in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) before deciding to play again in the UAAP.

    "We’re aiming for back-to-back sana, pero wala eh," she said.

    But the 5-foot-9 spiker acknowledged that she holds no regrets, and the extended quarantine period further makes her miss the sport she loves.

    "Ngayon nga, sobrang miss ko na maglaro eh," she said. "Kahit may times na tinatamad ako, pero alam ko sa sarili ko na hinahanap ng katawan ko yung workout, mag-dig pass lang sa dingding. So hangga’t kaya ko maglaro, maglalaro ako."

    Still, nothing is cast in stone as far as Maraguinot is concerned, saying that as much as playing for one more UAAP season would be a special feeling for her, it's going to be a tough position to decide as she'll be staying in Katipunan for eight years now.

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    "For me, mahirap na decision siya kasi personally, ako matanda na ako. Pumasok ako ng Ateneo, I was 15, 16 years old, tapos kung maglaro man ako next year, aalis ako ng 25 years old. So parang it’s too long na for me. Sana nag-double major na lang pala ako," she said.

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    Maraguinot even expressed those concerns to her younger sister Jaja.

    "Actually, pinangunahan ko na siya. Sinabi ko sa kanya, 'Matanda na ako ha. Yung mga rookies ko nung senior ako, graduate na rin, so ako gusto mo pa ba ako mag stay?' Pero sinabihan din naman niya ako before. Pero pinangunahan ko pa rin siya," she said.

    That's why for now, Maraguinot cannot answer anything definite with regards to her future plans.

    "Honestly, ngayon wala pa because dapat after season ko siya aayusin," she said. "Pero yun nga, yung plano ko after season naudlot lahat, so ngayon wala pa. Hindi ko pa alam."

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      PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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