MANILA, Philippines – Talent and winning attitude sometimes just really run in the family.
When the Ateneo Lady Eagles completed a two-game comeback to win the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball championship against the UST Golden Tigresses, praises were heaped on their graduating stars like Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag, and the most recent addition to the exit party, Kat Tolentino.
However, the efforts of sophomore libero Dani Ravena did not go unnoticed as well.
After recording just 8 excellent digs in a forgettable Game 1, Ravena shored up her floor defense and totaled 37 excellent digs and 19 excellent receptions in the last two contests.
It's no coincidence that Ateneo won both games where she showed up, and her older brothers or kuyas couldn't be any prouder of their bunso (youngest sibling).
"It feels great. Proud of the whole team. Proud of Dani," said her brother Thirdy, a reigning two-time UAAP seniors basketball champion and Finals MVP.
"Enjoy, that's all I could tell her," he continued. "Coming from Game 1 where they were stressed, I just felt they needed to enjoy the situation they're in. Just enjoy that moment because they deserve it."
Of course, no Ravena celebration would be complete without their eldest Kiefer, who himself nabbed two titles in the latter half of Ateneo's legendary five-peat dynasty under coach Norman Black.
Like Thirdy, Kiefer was on cloud nine after his little sister earned a gold medal of her own.
"I can't remember any siblings where each of them got a championship in the UAAP. It's gonna be a feat for the family. Credit to our parents," Kiefer said.
"As long as she stays healthy, they have a system and a coach. They play hard, they have a lot of heart," he added. "You'll get amazed at how much sacrifice they make. It's just fitting for them for them to get this championship."
Now that Dani has a championship for herself, however, Thirdy has already issued a new challenge – in true Ravena fashion.
"Sana mas marami pa mapanalo niya sa amin ng brother ko (I hope she wins more than me and my brother)," Thirdy said. – Rappler.com