As Alyssa Valdez huffed and puffed to try to keep Ateneo’s 3-peat bid alive, her teammates failed to step up big when the MVP needed them.
And as she herself admits, rising star Jho Maraguinot was one of them.
Being unable to deliver as the Lady Eagles bowed to La Salle in Game 3 of the UAAP finals, the Batangas native didn’t hide her disappointment.
“Syempre frustrated sa sarili ko kasi feel ko kulang, as in sobrang kulang yung binigay ko,” she said. “Sobrang disappointed ako sa sarili ko.”
Ateneo went on to a promising start behind the monster play of Valdez, but as the Phenom looked visibly tired in the final set, no one picked up the slack for the back-to-back champs.
Maraguinot, who has been tipped to be the heir to Valdez’s throne as the Queen Eagle, said she feels she disappointed her mentor.
“Nagkulang ako para kay Ate Ly. Nagkulang ako para sa team,” she said while trying to look at the positives of their just-concluded campaign.
“Sobrang grabe yung season na ito. Ang dami naming pinagdaanan. Tatlo lang yung seniors namin. Bata kami lahat. Hindi rin ganun kalalim yung bench namin. Pero until the end, lumaban pa rin kami,” she added. “Sobrang fulfilling pa rin, kasi yung hard work nandyan. Nagkulang at kinapos lang talaga.”
As early as now, Maraguinot wants redemption, not just for herself, but also for coach Tai Bundit, who lost in the UAAP finals for the first time.
But whether she is the next Valdez or not, the La Salle Lipa alum doesn’t want to think about it yet.
“Hindi ko na pinapansin yun. Pag malapit na ulit yung season tsaka na ulit ako mag-iisip. Matagal pa. Pahinga muna tayo. Kailangan muna natin ng break sa lahat. If iisipin na natin yun magpapatong patong eh. Maf-frustrate na maf-frustrate.” — By Arylle Magtalas