Small Talks

Women’s Volleyball Finals of UAAP Season 79 is few days away and this is the time where players will be needing all the encouragement before going to that Finals court. 

I’ve been an Ateneo fan for as long as I can remember. I’ve watched players grow and make their own names in the court. I became a fan not because of certain players but because of teamwork and on how the team crawled its way up. I also have been a varsity athlete for 4 years and my journey was just like the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
This is why I decided to post this message hoping that the team I’m rooting for will have the emotional strength they need.
When the year of Gretchen Ho, Fille Cainglet, Angeline Gervacio, Jem Ferrer and Bea Tan ended their UAAP career, the likes of Jia Morado, Michelle Morente, Jhoanna Maraguinot lead by Alyssa Valdez came into the picture. The following year when the Thailand coach, Anusorn Bundit, lead the team it was the year when Ateneo first have the UAAP Championship Title and it is no secret. The victory was followed by its 2nd championship until the year when Alyssa Valdez, Amy Ahomiro, Ella de Jesus and Denise Lazaro graduated and they lost the championship to their rival, La Salle. 

This year spectators doubted the girls in saying they are not a final four contender but I didn’t lost faith in them.

Jia when first played as the rookie setter in Ateneo, I admired her bravery and heartstrong committment to the team. Her composure and leadership along with her trusts and plays given to her teammates made me love her more. I hope that Jia will hold on to the feeling when she first got the acknowledgement she deserved to boost her confidence. Be humble as you are and never lose faith in your teammates. 

Mich is one of the players that is doing it all. Her energy inside the court that radiates to her teammates and infects them with her playfulness to lighten the mood of the team. It is important to have that kind of person in the floor who reminds the players to play their game and put the pressure aside knowing that too much pressure hinders the performance of an athlete. In the incoming game, I hope that Mich will be her playful and bright self first and foremost in order to deliver her full potential during the games. Cheer-up and do what you always do, Attack and Defend.

Jho is one of the players who felt the pressure of stepping-up for team because it is expected of her. I saw her ups and downs during her career, how she overcame all of it and I’m proud of her because of that.  I believe that confidence is one of the factors that greatly affects players and Jho one of those. I hope that Jhoanna will not doubt herself. We, your fans, believe in you. You have to believe it yourself that you can do it all with God’s grace and it will be given to you. Don’t let other people criticisms get into you because they don’t know your story. You have your team to watch your back so do what you do best, Soar high, do that wise and power spike.

I may not be the person in position to say those things since I don’t know you personally but I feel like an older sister giving advice to my younger siblings so just bear with me. 
Every player has there own strengths and weaknesses but what matter most is how you channel an make us of these in order to achieve your goal. Go ATENEO. ONE BIG FIGHT. 

credit photos to GetBlued.


Two-Faced Perspective: National Volleyball

One of the hottest issue in the country of the Philippines is the 25 women pool in volleyball who will be the national representative of the country for the upcoming SEA Games and other international tournament.

This is because the fans were ranting on social media about the capacity of the coaching staffs to include talented players whom the people thinks are deserving but didn’t get in. There were inconsistencies in the statements which made things worse.

Let us look at the side of the fans. 

The fans and volleyball enthusiasts look forward to the dream team which the national team will be creating. Players in the likes of Valdez, Reyes, Fajardo, Lazaro, Santiago, MaraƱo were some players that the public would want and they were lucky enough to be part of the national team. Meanwhile, players like Galang, Gohing and Morado were not in the team despite of the impressive performance in their UAAP career. Fans would want these women to be in the national team since they were promising enough in terms of talent and potentials. Fans only wanted to have a team which can be considered as a dream team of the country in order to have a chance to finish in the podium stand. A fair and square selection process that will provide equal opportunities to all players who wished to represent the country is what the fans are expecting.

But things went crazy when the best setter of the UAAP, Jia Morado, was not included in the list. She was not even given invitation to join the try out which is made for UAAP aspiring players. Morado is one of the best setters in the country, she even has some international exposure when she played the under 23 category for Asian volleyball and in SEA Games. Despite these, she was not included in the pool. What made the public disappointed is when the remarks that she was given the letter personally which according to the player it didn’t happened, same is true with her other teammates which was not given the invitation for try-out.

The coaching staff of the national team emphasized that they will be fair and they have a scoring system that the players would be judged to. No special treatment and try-out is a must. But the fairness, no special treatment and try-out were omitted according to some since the staff got the tallest players of the leagues. They even handpicked players who didn’t try-out and a special try-out will be held to some players especially the Ateneo players like Morado, Madayag and Tolentino. Although Madayag and Tolentino were being recruited to be in the national team already. 

The credibility and fairness are important in creating a team because it will be the foundation of the team. It will create a mindset that they were chozen to represent the country because of their talent and hardwork and not otherwise.

What can we do now? Now that the team is set despite of the issue about the players and selection process, we should support the national team. It is a learning process for the coaching staffs to have a better system in choosing the players. They should be open and honest to the public because the too have the right to know since it’s people’s money that they are all spending.

I think the public will acknowledged and respect more if the governing body released a statement saying that the players will be selected based on coach preferences and chemistry of the team without talks about a system of fairness, equal opportunity  and special treatment. Just like saying that “whoever’s the coach wants then be it. no questions asked.” direct and transparent. 

If you don’t like it then you have to work hard and be a coach and choose your own team instead but if you’re not in that position yet, you have to just accept, wait and see. These words are plain and simple but you know that the person saying this means business and not politics.

Fans have always things to say. They have the right since they too are paying for the taxes that the country is spending for things like this. It is a matter of telling and informing the public the direction on where there beloved sport is headed. Public trust is important in national event like this. 

So to the officials of the governing body of the volleyball association, as a concerned citizen, this I tell you, You have to envision your goals, create a concrete plan and follow it into details.

More of Two Faced Perspective on the players viewpoint and the staff as well will be posted later this week. 

Philippines in Bronze

After the ASEAN University Games in Singapore, Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team went home with a bronze defeating the host nation, Singapore, in a 3-2 set.

It was a close match between the two teams but the Philippine team represented by the Ateneo Blue Eagles with their team captain and the face of Philippine volleyball Alyssa Valdez.

The team went against Thailand and Indonesia where they got 0-3  sets. They showed their passion to the sports and to their fans who supported and cheered for them taking away the home court advantage of Singapore as Filipino supporters echoed their voices in the gym where the game was held.

There is always room for improvement and and the Philippine Team knows that which is why engaging in international competition like this can boost confidence and inspire athletes to give their best and make their country proud.