Jaja Maraguinot Ateneo

Ateneo’s Jaja Maraguinot during the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Maraguinot kissed the Ateneo Blue Eagles goodbye as she opted to “take new opportunities” and forgo her UAAP career.

During the fans’ day of the Blue Eagles on Saturday, the 21-year-old setter announced that she will not be returning next UAAP season.

“Standing in front of you today, I have decided to take a new path to look for and take new opportunities, and to learn more outside of Ateneo. I could say that I am ready as Ateneo has prepared me for the past four years,” Maraguinot said.

“I am Jaja Maraguinot, jersey number six of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, now signing off,” she concluded, taking a bow in front of the fans and her team.

Jaja, the younger sister of former Ateneo spiker Jho, only played two full seasons in the UAAP.

“Ateneo has been my dream school ever since high school and it’s been an honor to be able to represent and study here in Ateneo,” Maraguinot said in Filipino.

“Whoever I am now, Ateneo taught me and shaped me up. I’ll make sure to bring all the things I learned wherever I go in this journey.”

Maraguinot was a rookie when the Blue Eagles, led by Kat Tolentino, Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag, and Deanna Wong, won the Season 81 championship three years ago.Her sophomore year was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Maraguinot orchestrated the plays for the Blue Eagles’ Cinderella run in the recently-concluded Season 84, where they started 0-3 but still made it to the semifinals beating University of the Philippines in a must-win final elimination game to force a playoff for No.4 with Adamson, which they eventually eliminated.

Ateneo ousted the Eya Laure-led University of Santo Tomas before losing to the twice-to-beat La Salle in the final stage of the stepladder semis.

“It was a wild season. We started from the bottom. Many people doubted us but we continued to fight and we tried. And now we’re here,” Maraguinot said.

The Blue Eagles coach Oliver Almadro has already two important positions to fill in as Maraguinot joined libero Dani Ravena, who already graduated.

The young playmaker urged the fans to continue supporting the Blue Eagles as she joins them as spectators in Season 85.

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