UAAP: Embracing her role, Zel Tsunashima giving Ateneo a boost

UAAP: Embracing her role, Zel Tsunashima giving Ateneo a boost

/ 07:54 PM March 24, 2024

Zel Tsunashima Ateneo UAAP Season 86

Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Zel Tsunashima.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Zel Tsunashima has found her rhythm in the second round as she continues to thrive in her role for Ateneo in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

Tsunashima led the way for the Blue Eagles with 16 points to sweep the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 25-14, 25-20, 25-15, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off a 21-point effort in their five-set loss to league leader University of Santo Tomas, the sophomore spiker stepped up to join Lyann De Guzman and Sobe Buena at the forefront of Ateneo’s offense. 


SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round

“Mas na-embrace ko lang yung role ko na maging contributor talaga sa team. Gusto ko naman tulungan sina Lyann, sina Sobe, and of course, yung mindset ko talaga always is maging confident, knowing na trusted ako ng mga teammates ko,” said Tsunashima, who had an efficient 13-of-27 attacking clip and drilled three kill blocks.

Tsunashima said their daunting first game of Round 2 against UST, where they put up a gallant stand, honed the Blue Eagles’ skills and mindset in facing the Fighting Maroons. 

“I think the tough schedule really helped us, especially na na-instill yung mindset ni coach na strong mind. Kahit ano mang performance namin, we have to learn by it, and we have to move on and focus sa next game,” she said. 

“In the UST game, we know na our level, and we hope na always namin yun mapakita. Coming into round two, I’m hoping na mas happy kami and mas aggressive talaga kami.”


Ateneo stayed in Final Four contention with a 3-6 record just behind No. 4. Tsunashima wants her team to continue having fun in their quest to bring back their school to the semifinals. 

“Ccoming to round two, yung mindset namin is to really have fun inside the game, and yung good energy talaga na sinasabi ni coach na ipakita namin. Of course, sabi nga ni ate Roma [Doromal], ine-embrace lang namin yung role sa isa’t isa,” she said.


Tsunashima and the Blue Eagles take a Holy Week break before resuming their Final Four aspirations against FEU in a crucial match on April 4 at Mall of Asia Arena.

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, UAAP Season 86

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