MANILA, Philippines – Dani Ravena believes she did "pretty OK" after making her debut for the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Wednesday, but knows she has plenty more to improve as a player.
The youngest of the Ravena brood is now a libero for the Lady Eagles, and made the team's roster for UAAP Season 80. She did not play in their season-opener against Far Eastern University on Sunday, but was thrust into the action against National University on Wednesday.
Ravena, the youngest sister of basketball stars Kiefer and Thirdy, was inserted into the game in the second set, as Jenelle Lo was proving to be ineffective. She proved to be solid for the most part, tallying 9 digs and 10 receptions in the final 4 sets of the game.
Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, nerves seemed to get the better of the young setter in the fifth frame. She gave up 3 consecutive aces to NU setter Jasmin Nabor that put the finishing touches on the Lady Bulldogs' marathon win.
"Doon ako kinabahan," Ravena said after the game. "Noong error ko nung una, nataranta siguro ako."
Still, Ravena believes she did "pretty OK," especially as it was her first foray into the UAAP. Indeed, it was the first time that she played long minutes as a libero; when Ateneo campaigned in the Premier Volleyball League last year, Ravena was a setter.
"(It was) not enough, pero I think for my first game as a player, I'm pushing myself," she said. "I did good, but I can do more."
Ravena was aware that Tai Bundit could put her in the game at any time, especially as none of the 4 liberos that Ateneo has in its line-up are proven performers. Lo has been their starter so far, but against FEU on Sunday she was briefly replaced by Vanessa Baguiwet.
On Wednesday, it was Ravena who got the call.
"May kaunting kaba noong pinasok ako, pero the whole game naman, sinabi ni coach Tai na, 'Be ready, be ready.' So you know, in my mind, inisip ko na lang 'yung goal ko. Reception talaga kulang namin, so kailangan talaga namin galingan sa reception," she said. "I did my best, siguro na-short lang kami."
Though her debut in Ateneo ended with a loss, Ravena is determined to keep improving and polishing her skills, as she wants to help the Lady Eagles in any way possible.
"To be part of the team is an honor and to wear the jersey of Ateneo has been like my dream of mine ever since so you know when I step on the court wearing that jersey, I feel na parang OK I have this role," said Ravena.
"No matter how small the role is, parang iniisip ko na as long as it helps the team, gagawin ko," she promised.
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