Reminiscing her freshmen year now a legendary name in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 women’s volleyball championship, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagle, Bea de Leon ended her collegiate athletics career with gold trophies and a Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.
After a grueling game versus rival University of Sto. Tomas, the Eagles end the match in a thrilling 3-game sweep with de Leon averaging 7.7 points per game as the team’s middle blocker.
After multiple failed attempts at the start of her career to win the top crown against De La Salle University (DLSU) during season 78 and 79 then Far Eastern University (FEU) the following season, De Leon contemplated in continuing with a fifth year in Ateneo, now saying that it was “the best decision [she] ever made.”
In her words to the press after the game, “Nothing compares to this feeling right now,” the team captain explaining, “I’d choose this over anything. First and last. That’s a Cinderella story, that’s a fairy tale.” She added, “I’m happy that coach O (Oliver Almadro) still called me up. He had a choice to replace me but he really called me up. I still remember that day when he did,” elaborating, “I really wanted to use this to inspire my teammates, make them really feel how much I believe in them because I do. I really wanted to use it to make them play their best and be at their best.”
De Leon concluded, “We said whatever happened, we shouldn’t forget to be grateful that we’re here. It was really the best decision I ever made. It was such a risk, but we’re here and we did it.”
While De Leon graduates with fellow Ateneo seniors Maddie Madayag and Kim Gequillana, Filipino-Canadian Kat Tolentino still has the option to play for the Lady Eagles in Season 82.