PONGGAY Gaston is confident the Ateneo Lady Eagles will be able to live up to the expectations as they prepare for the title defense in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The versatile Lady Eagle has been named team captain following the exit of Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino, who towed the team to the UAAP Season 81 women’s title.
Gaston is shrugging off the pressure of working without the three Ateneo stars, and is hoping that her work ethic would rub off on the young Lady Eagles squad featuring Jules Samonte, Dani Ravena, Jaja Maraguinot, Vanie Gandler and rookie Faith Nisperos.
“Kailangan ko lang masanay na maging leader. Yung mga bata naman masunurin naman,” said Gaston.
“Hindi pwedeng maghanap ng mga taong wala na. Kailangan we need to fill the shoes of the roles that were before us,” said Gaston.
“I’m not thinking of it as a sort of pressure for me. I think matagal na akong hinahanda for this so kailangan ko nang mag-step up and I need to fill the role as a senior na.”
Gaston stressed the importance of trust as the young team tries to overcome the pressure of the title defense.
“Kahit nasanay ako na marami akong seniors, okay lang kasi I have faith naman in my coach and in my teammates,” she said.
“I believe in my team na I think kaya naming ma-achieve kung ano ang gusto ni coach with hard work and yun nga kailangan lang naming mag-jell pa and ma-expose pa.”
So far, the Lady Eagles have been doing well, winning their first two matches in the PVL Collegiate Conference.
“I’m hoping that the girls can gain their confidence pa and throughout the season, mahaba pa yan, marami pa silang madadagdag,” she said.
“Di pa kami satisfied sa nilalaro namin, meron pa kaming ilalabas. Hopefully, in time makuha namin ang gusto ni coach.”
“I just hope na mas ma-inspire ko pa sila to do more and to do what Coach O wants which is all the other values like working hard and being aggressive and talking inside,” Gaston said.
“Sana magawa ko rin yun para magaya nila ako.”