April 14, 2024

UAAP: What changed for Ateneo in round 2? Roma Doromal, Zel Tsunashima get honest after clean sweep of UP

UAAP: What changed for Ateneo in round 2? Roma Doromal, Zel Tsunashima get honest after clean sweep of UP
Roma Mae Doromal and Zel Tsunashima led the Ateneo Blue Eagles to a comfortable victory over the UP Fighting Maroons. | Photo (c) UAAP

It's clear that the Ateneo Blue Eagles are playing on a different level in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament.

After Season 86 looked like a lost campaign in the first round, the Blue Eagles are slowly but surely turning things around, putting in impressive performances as of late.

This culminated in Ateneo's first straight-set victory in the season—against the UP Fighting Maroons.

But what has changed for the Blue Eagles? Team captain Roma Mae Doromal was the first to point out a change in mindset for the squad.

"I feel like now, mas inembrace namin yung kanya-kanyang role," Doromal said during the post-game press conference. "At the same time now, nakita namin na ito talaga yung Ateneo. Ito talaga kami maglaro."

"Ito na yung pinagte-trainingan namin at nakikita namin sa training na hirap na hirap kami na i-apply sa game, pero ito na, ito na yung Ateneo. Like parang happy kami and grateful every game at excited kami na ipakita yung talent namin," she added.

Zel Tsunashima, who led Ateneo with 16 points in the win over UP, shared the same sentiment as the Sergio Veloso-led Blue Eagles moved closer to tying Far Eastern University for the coveted fourth spot.

"For me, coming to round two, 'yung mindset namin is to really have fun inside the game, and 'yung good energy talaga na sinasabi ni coach [Sergio Veloso] na ipakita namin. Of course, sabi nga ni ate Roms, ine-embrace lang namin yung role sa isa’t isa," said Tsunashima.

As Ateneo looks to build on its strong performances, Veloso is not closing the door just yet on a possible Final Four appearance.

"Our target now, we need to think for the next match. Because if you do a good job match-by-match, you have a good chance to go for the Final Four," said Veloso.

"I know it’s hard because of the distance [in the standings] to FEU in fourth position. But we have two targets — a short target now for this season, we need to do our best here. And in the program, the program is a long-term [target]," he added.