MANILA, Philippines -- Denden Lazaro-Revilla, the defensive anchor of two Ateneo champion teams, praised the Lady Eagles' current liberos in a recent interview.
Lazaro-Revilla was the ace libero of the Lady Eagles in their run to the UAAP championship in Seasons 76 and 77, and also represented the country in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Appearing on the "Crossover" podcast presented by SMART, Lazaro-Revilla was asked for her thoughts on current Ateneo libero Dani Ravena, who played a big role in the Lady Eagles' run to the UAAP Season 81 crown.
"Malaki 'yung ini-improve niya given na she was only converted from a setter. She was a setter in high school then she was converted to a libero," Lazaro-Revilla said. "So, malaking responsibility 'yun, especially she was thrust into the spotlight."
What impressed Lazaro-Revilla most about Ravena is the energy that she brings into the team every time her number is called.
Ravena, the youngest sister of basketball stars Kiefer and Thirdy, did not always play full games for the Lady Eagles in Season 81 as she alternated libero duties with versatile veteran Kim Gequillana. But she came to her own in the Finals, particularly in Game 2 when she helped the team defeat University of Santo Tomas in four sets to send the series to a deciding Game 3.
"'Yung energy niya, 'yung energy that she brings on the court every time she steps in is a huge boost for the team. So, she's a vital cog in the Ateneo team right now," Lazaro-Revilla said.
The former Ateneo star also gave a massive compliment to the team's rookie libero, Roma Doromal. A recruit from Nazareth School of National University, Doromal gave a good account of herself in her debut wherein she and Ravena alternated libero duties.
Lazaro-Revilla was asked who among the current crop of UAAP liberos most resembled her game in college, and the "Iron Eagle" pointed to the Ateneo rookie.
"I think I'd have to say it's Roma Doromal from Ateneo. Although, she was a libero na in high school, so it's a lot better than me when I started in college as a libero," she said. "But how she plays, paano siya gumalaw, I see myself in her. But she's a lot better na."
Lazaro-Revilla also noted that current National U libero Jennifer Nierva has a similar skillset to her back in college.
The young Doromal was caught off guard by Lazaro-Revilla's praise, tweeting "I can't breathe" when she watched the video of the veteran player's answer.
Lazaro-Revilla just doubled down on her sentiment, replying: "You'll do great things. I believe in you."
Doromal and Ravena did not quite get the opportunity to showcase their improvement in UAAP Season 82, as their tournament was cancelled along with other second semester sports due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).