MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles captain Maddie Madayag is making sure her teammates are heading into the Final 4 with their heads held high even if they ended the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball elimination round on a sour note.
The Lady Eagles were hit with a double whammy on Sunday, April 15, after they failed to secure the twice-to-beat advantage following a 24-26, 17-25, 19-25 sweep by the De La Salle University Lady Spikers .
A win against the Lady Spikers could have given Ateneo the win-once incentive in the Final 4. But La Salle displayed championship poise from the get-go to relegate Ateneo to 3rd place.
It's the first time since Season 76 that Ateneo failed to finish the eliminations as a Top 2 team, but Madayag said they will still face the twice-to-beat Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws with confidence.
"We're not gonna be complacent but we're going to be confident despite the loss. We just need to play happy," said Madayag.
"Like what Coach Tai (Bundit) said, 'Ang ganda ng laro 'nyo sa training tapos ngayon, 'di kayo masaya pagdating sa game.' Kailangan lang talaga mag-enjoy."
(Like what Coach Tai said, "You've been playing well in training, but in today's game, you're not as happy." We just really need to enjoy.)
The Lady Eagles struggled offensively as Kat Tolentino was the only player to breach double figures with 15 points against La Salle, which had 3 finishing in double digits in Kim Dy (13), Desiree Cheng (12), and Tin Tiamzon (11).
Madayag chipped in 8 points in the loss while key cogs Jho Maraguinot and Bea de Leon only had 6 and 3 points, respectively.
For Madayag, it is only a matter of time before her teammates find their groove back.
"For sure naman babawi sila. Alam naman na nila sarili nila," she said. "'Di naman siguro 'yun something that would bring them down. It's something that would encourage them more to do better in trainings."
(For sure they will bounce back. They know themselves. I don't think it's something that would bring them down. It's something that would encourage them more to do better in trainings.)
The Ateneo-FEU Final 4 clash is set for Saturday, April 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Madayag said they will dedicate the week-long break solely to preparations.
"Gagawin namin ang best namin. For the week na libre kami before the semis, focus lang kami sa volleyball," she said.
(We will do our best. For the week that we're free before the semis, we'll focus only on volleyball.) – Rappler.com