MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University's top hitter, Jhoana Maraguinot, is seriously considering foregoing her final season of eligibility in the UAAP.
Maraguinot, who has been a key player for the Lady Eagles since Season 77, told former Ateneo libero Denden Lazaro in an Instagram story recently that she is likely playing in her final year.
The open spiker confirmed this development on Wednesday, after scoring 16 points in a five-set loss to National University.
"Yeah, most probably," Maraguinot said when asked if Season 80 will be her final year.
Meanwhile, middle blocker Bea de Leon – who like Maraguinot is in her fourth season with the team – was non-committal when asked about staying for her final year of eligibility.
"I'm not one to close doors," said de Leon. "It depends pa what it is that happens. Ang tagal pa ng season. Tatapusin ko muna 'to."
Nevertheless, de Leon understands why Maraguinot is likely to skip Season 81.
"I mean, ang tagal na niya," said de Leon, who pointed out that her good friend has been in college for six years. "At some point, talagang mapapagod ka."
"I understand where she's coming from. Four years in the team… I think every athlete would know the fatigue and the sacrifices you make talaga. I understand," she added.
Both Maraguinot and de Leon made their debuts in Season 77, and have since been part of a historic stretch for the Ateneo women's volleyball team.
The Lady Eagles swept the UAAP Season 77 tournament, then made the finals in Season 78 and 79. This year, however, they are struggling, opening their campaign with back-to-back losses.
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