MANILA, Philippines -- PLDT head coach George Pascua is pleased to see that the hard work being made by young spiker Jules Samonte is paying off during the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference.
Samonte has emerged as a consistent contributor for the High Speed Hitters in their campaign. After five match days, Samonte ranks fifth in the league in scoring, with a total of 39 points. She has also improved her efficiency, converting at a rate of 30.17%.
The former Ateneo de Manila University standout has helped PLDT take a 2-1 win-loss record in the tournament, keeping them in the hunt for a semifinal spot.
"I'm just really grateful that I'm getting to play, and also that the coaches trust me to be put in [the games]," said Samonte after an 18-point performance against Petro Gazz on Tuesday night.
Samonte was instrumental in PLDT's five-set win against PetroGazz, as she scored 16 of her points on kills while also contributing 15 digs. She previously had 11 points in their conference-opener, a straight sets win against Chery Tiggo.
In a three-set loss to Creamline, Samonte still impressed with 10 points and 11 digs.
For Pascua, Samonte's recent performances are a result of the work that she is putting in during practice.
"In fairness naman kay Jules, talagang meron siyang initiative," said Pascua. "Maaga siyang pupunta sa training para mag-overload sa kung ano kakulangan niya."
"'Yun ang tinitingnan namin, 'yung character ng isang player, 'yung initiative niya para sa sarili niya, sa kung ano kulang niya. Kasi kung ganoon 'yung attitude ng isang player, pagdating sa laro, meron din siyang initiative na gawin yung mga bagay para ipanalo 'yung team," he pointed out.
Pascua also praised Samonte's willingness to go outside of her comfort zone. The coach noted that while Samonte started out as a middle blocker, she has grown by leaps and bounds as a wing spiker and is flourishing in that position for PLDT.
"Willing naman siya na from middle to outside. So in fairness sa kanya, nagawa niya. Pero siyempre, hindi ganoon kadali 'yun. Training talaga and trust," said the coach.
Samonte, for her part, credited the confidence that she gets from her coaches and teammates for her recent run of form.
"I'm just really grateful to play and train under coaches in PLDT like Coach George," said Samonte, who also hailed the veteran guidance of players like Rhea Dimaculangan and Mika Reyes.
"Siyempre po nakaka-motivate, especially kasi mga ate ko din po 'yun. And, grabe po sila mag-trust and mag-motivate nga po sa amin. Ayun po, I'm grateful," she said.