MANILA, Philippines —Roma Mae Doromal is embracing her bigger role as the leader of the rebuilding Ateneo Blue Eagles as they usher in a new era under Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) preseason championship.
The ace libero, who was tapped as the team captain at least for the tournament, admitted that her team is starting from scratch and still adjusting to the system of their new coach.
The Blue Eagles are facing a tall order in rising from a disappointing UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball stint.
“What we can give him is our commitment that even though we’re tired, we’ll always show up and give the 100 percent that our coach asks of us,” said the graduating Doromal during the SSL press launch on Thursday.
“I think one of the reasons why I’m excited to lead this time is because it’s my last season. I’ll give it all. I also gained experience playing internationally and I hope I can help my team with that,” she added.
STARTING FROM THE BASICS
Doromal said that the Blue Eagles are progressing well with Veloso, who replaced longtime coach Oliver Almadro after missing the Final Four last season.
“Our training has been okay. There’s a lot of adjustments, but we’ve been able to keep up with everything,” Doromal told reporters. “Language barrier is not a problem since he’s able to explain properly to us the drills. [One of the things we need to adjust] one is the system. Very different system, like high-level system.”
“We started from basics, everything was changed. I think there’s going to be a big difference compared to Ateneo before.”
Doromal, who played for another Brazilian coach Jorge Souza de Brito when she represented the country in the AVC Cup and SEA VLeague, is hoping to share all her learnings from facing international teams to the Blue Eagles in the SSL, where she will lead the way for a young team.
“At first it’s hard to embrace my role because I need to be mature. I learned a lot playing with Faith [Nisperos]. I think I got a lot of key points from her on being a captain. Hopefully, I can share it with the team,” she said. “I’m super grateful also for the [national team] experience because it’s a different level.”
Ateneo battles Far Eastern University, Mapua, and Emilio Aguinaldo College in Pool D in the 16-team preseason tournament.
“This league is very important to us because this is where we can gauge ourselves, And hopefully, we will be able to improve ourselves from here before the UAAP,” Doromal said.
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