Some endings can be rewritten, while some are set in stone. Unfortunately for Jho Maraguinot’s fans still campaigning for #JhoForFive, her days as an Ateneo Lady Eagle fall on the latter.
Despite having one more year of eligibility in the UAAP, Maraguinot announced last year that she will forego playing for the blue and white as she transitions into the next chapter of her playing career.
And yes, the decision still stands.
“Kahit sino gusto mag stay kung saan ka comfortable and right now, aminin ko Ateneo pa rin ang comfort zone ko kasi ang tagal ko silang nakasama,” Maraguinot told Volleyverse. “Pero I think it’s a good thing din to go out of the comfort zone, to learn new things, to go to another level of competition.”
“I’ve accepted na hindi na ‘yun (UAAP) ‘yung para sa akin. it’s time to go to the next chapter,” she added.
In her last hurrah for the Katipunan-based squad, Maraguinot and the Lady Eagles failed to make it to Season 80’s last dance—a first in eight years—as they bowed out of the tournament with a bronze.
But though her collegiate career did not end the way she wanted to, ‘The Eagle Claw’ cannot deny that a huge part of her still misses the whole UAAP spectacle.
“Oo, siyempre namimiss ko ‘yung preparations for UAAP especially now na nire-replay nila ‘yung games. Tine-text ako ni Mama na: ‘Uy, nireplay ‘yung game niyo.’ Lagi nilang sinasabi: ‘What if naglaro ka pa?’ Pero lokohan lang,” she said with her patented shy smile.
Coincidentally, the thing the outside hitter misses the most is what the current roster of Lady Eagles has been doing over the past week.
“Ang pinaka namimiss ko is ‘yung training abroad because nagta-travel din kami,” she said. “The good thing nung sa Ateneo is we train and we travel whenever we’re free. Gala lang kami. Parang it creates a bond and hindi ka nala-lock sa isang lugar lang. Pag nasa ibang bansa ka, you can try so many new things.”
With one title out of three Finals appearances tucked under her belt, one can say that Maraguinot is an expert in handling the physical, emotional, and mental stress of a tournament like the upcoming UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament.
And if she has one advice especially for her younger sister, Jaja, who will debut for the Lady Eagles this season, it is to do it for the people who matter the most when you’re inside the playing court.
“Do it for your teammates kasi kayo-kayo ang magkakasama simula sa preparations. Emotionally, physically, lahat magkakasama kayo dyan. Do it for them,” shared the Batangueña. “For sure kasi ang coaches may expectations din pero every time naisip mong it’s getting too hard, alalahanin mo na kailangan ka ng teammates mo.”
Maraguinot has since moved on to playing semi-pro in the PSL where she is currently under club team Sta. Lucia.