MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran Ateneo de Manila University middle blocker Bea de Leon submitted her most efficient performance of UAAP Season 81 on Sunday, scoring all eight points off spikes in a three-set win over University of the East (UE).
De Leon converted 8 of 12 spike attempts, including the quick kill that served as the match winner after an hour and 21 minutes.
It was a solid performance for De Leon, who has been off to a slow start in her final year with the Lady Eagles. She had scored a grand total of just 17 points in their first 3 games, including a 3-point output in last week's thrilling triumph over Far Eastern University.
"If you saw naman my output the past 3 games, it wasn't where we want to be," said de Leon, who acknowledged that her performance against UE was "a big boost."
"Part of it is, siguro nga, it's my last year. You overthink and gigil na gigil ka to do your best," she explained.
But de Leon noted that Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro has not pressured her to provide a lot of points for the team. While she was trying to find her rhythm on offense and defense, Kat Tolentino had carried the scoring load while Maddie Madayag anchored their net defense.
"I thank coach for giving me the confidence and the trust pa rin kahit na ganoon ang nagiging output. He always tells me not to worry," he said.
For Almadro, it's because he expects more from de Leon than just points production. Even when she wasn't putting up big numbers, the veteran was still providing leadership that the Lady Eagles greatly needed.
"Kasi, if she's worrying about making points or helping in terms of statistics. Sabi ko, I don't need that, I just need your leadership, I just need your presence there," said Almadro.
Still, it is a relief for de Leon to put together a solid game, and she is hopeful that she can keep it up.
"I put my mindset back to whatever helps the team, kahit simpleng makakuha lang ako ng blocker, sobrang laking bagay na 'yun para ma-free up si Kat (Tolentino) or sila Ponggay (Gaston)," she said.
"I put my mindset na back to the basics. But definitely, thank you to my setters also, and definitely to coach and my teammates na, efficient ako today, and hopefully, consistency," de Leon added.
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