Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Ateneo Blue Eagles' Lyann De Guzman.  –UAAP PHOTO

Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Lyann De Guzman. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro continues to challenge Lyann De Guzman and the other Blue Eagles’ starting unit to step as they try to keep their Final Four hopes alive in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.

With the Blue Eagles trying to fuel their chances at 4-6 in sixth place, Almadro has been instilling to her players like De Guzman, Joan Narit, AC Miner, and Taks Fujimoto that their team is not just about co-captains Faith Nisperos and Vanie Gandler.

“I keep challenging them that they really have to step up. Every game is an opportunity to step up. Don’t think that Vanie and Faith will carry the team,” said the Ateneo coach in Filipino. “If they will think about it like this is an opportunity that they can’t miss. They will be challenged to do their tasks, to do their goals. Better for Vanie and Faith.”

De Guzman was one of the key contributors in Ateneo’s 25-20, 25-17, 25-22 win over the skidding University of the Philippines on Wednesday at FilOil EcoOil Centre.

The starting opposite spiker scored eight points including a block on top of seven excellent receptions to provide ample help for Nisperos, who led the way with 17 points.

“Actually, it’s really helpful if all of us will contribute to the game. Most importantly, we have to help each other inside the court. Even our teammates from the bench were helpful, boosting our morale inside the court,” said De Guzman in Filipino.”

Ateneo Blue Eagles.  –UAAP PHOTO

Ateneo Blue Eagles. –UAAP PHOTO

De Guzman is also taking her coach’s challenge to the head on, knowing it will help them reach their full potential.

“It’s normal for him to push us because he knows that we have potential in games and training. He’s there for us because he believes that we just have to play brave inside the court because the skills are already there,” she said in Filipino.

The animated Ateneo coach hopes that his challenge to De Guzman and the rest of the Blue Eagles will help them win their last four games of the elimination round.

“They know I’ve been challenging them to step up for them to show maturity towards the latter part of the UAAP,” Almadro said. “We’re really hoping, we’re really praying that this challenge will give us the confidence, the morale, the spirit, and the energy we need going to the next games. We’re really praying for it, the energy and the wisdom.”

Ateneo will face a challenging stretch to end the eliminations, facing University of Santo Tomas on Saturday at Philsports Arena before taking on Far Eastern University on April 19, La Salle on April 23, and National University on April 29.

De Guzman believes nothing is impossible.

“Our [long break] was really helpful to boost our confidence. Nothing is impossible. We can do it, one game at a time,” she said.

WATCH: Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro and Lyann De Guzman after beating UP. #UAAPSeason85 | via Lance Agcaoili/Inquirer Sports

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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By cb2gp