Mae Tajima grows in confidence as Bali Pure wins 4th straight
MANILA, Philippines – She barely saw playing minutes during her stint as an Ateneo Lady Eagle. In fact, she was suited out in UAAP Season 77. But now, the 6-foot-2 Mae Tajima has become more confident and is finally getting the credit she deserves in the semi-professional volleyball wars.
“You can see there’s a lot of difference now when she’s inside the court. There’s a lot of aggressiveness, especially for the hits. She asks for the ball,” said Bali Pure playing coach Charo Soriano.
Tajima recorded a personal-high of 8 points Wednesday, June 15, as her team the Bali Pure Water Defenders swept the Laoag Power Smashers, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, to stretch their winning streak to 4 games in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
“I’m very proud of Mae. So proud of Mae,” Soriano added.
Soriano has noticeably maximized Tajima in the team's recent outings, most especially when Gretchel Soltones and Alyssa Valdez were still in Europe for a series of exhibition matches.
“She has it in her. She just needs more exposure. And now that she has it, she’s really proving herself.”
She described Tajima as a talented player who would benefit from added exposure. The spiker has become a key factor in clinching Bali Pure’s 4 wins in the league’s elimination rounds.
“She’s really improving in each and every game. She has a lot of good blocks now. You can see naman she’s more aggressive in the net. More service aces. Things like those are really positive in terms of team play,” Soriano said.
As the media discussed her most recent performance, the flushed Tajima nonchalantly entered the press room while eating a slice of pizza. She admitted that she's not used to getting this kind of attention.
“I’m really happy because this is my first time. I’m really happy that we played well. We were composed,” she said of being named the Shakey’s Player of the Game.
According to her, the team’s starting to gel well now that they are already complete.
Tajima, more than anything else, is just thankful to her coach for giving her the opportunity to step up her game and let her shine.
“Ate Cha trusts us,” she said as she gave Charo Soriano a tight hug. – Rappler.com