Jules Samonte quickly evolved from a wide-eyed rookie into the UAAP’s latest sensation after delivering a heroic performance in the showdown between Ateneo and La Salle recently.
After for a shaky start, Samonte came off the bench for Ponggay Gaston, who was consistently targeted by De La Salle from the attack zone.
Samonte entered in the court as if she was on a mission.
And her unexpected entrance quickly stunned the Lady Spikers.
She also fired up the mood for the Lady Eagles en route to a four-set demolition of their archrivals.
It was a job well done for the 18-year old Samonte.
She truly deserves to be applauded.
Samonte had greatly filled in the missing link in Ateneo’s offense following the absence of Jho Maraguinot, who was sidelined as she recovers from a knee injury.
But Maraguinot said she was proud at how Samonte courageously responded with such huge challenge.
[quote]”Sobrang proud (ako) of Jules.”
“Noong magi-start ang game, when I was giving her instructions, niyayakap niya ako tapos sabi niya, ‘Ate Jho, Ate Jho.’ Sabi ko relax ka lang kaya mo ‘yan. Makinig ka lang sa sasabihin ko pero she delivered well and I’m so proud of her.”[/quote]
Ateneo’s top scorer Michelle Morente, on the other hand, stressed that a monster performance from a rookie like Samonte came in as a surprise.
[quote]”Speechless ako. Sobrang nag-step up siya. Imagine; she’s the only rookie tapos siya pa ‘yung nag-step up sa amin?”[/quote]
But she revealed that it added fire in her eyes to maintain the positive energy after being clobbered by the Lady Spikers in the first set.
[quote]”Ako, aaminin ko, I was a bit shaky but when I saw her scoring, tumaas ‘yung confidence ko na parang kailangan ko maglaro nang maayos. Rookie ‘yun, nakita niyo naman ‘yung bravery niya. Na-inspire ako sa kanya na ‘to maintain our energy.”[/quote]
Samonte really served as the key to outclass the Lady Spikers.
Samonte couldn’t have chosen a bigger stage to erupt with a breakout performance.
She’s turning into a star that she could be.
Even team captain Jia Morado was also amazed at how Samonte took all her advices by heart to nail her big break.
[quote]”I’m super happy kasi before the game pa lang, sinabihan na namin siya na ‘Jules, if coach uses you today, ‘wag ka matakot kasi you’re a rookie, nothing is expected of you except for you to play your 100 percent, okay lang magkamali.’ She took that talaga to heart, and sobrang nagulat kami sa laro niya na nag-deliver talaga siya.”[/quote]
But if there’s someone who oozing with pride with the way Samonte competed, it’s three-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez.
[quote]”Lahat kami proud kay Jules and to everyone who played.”[/quote]
She saw how the rookie clawed her way out of her shell.
More than that, she knows that Samonte would soon blossom into a star.