UAAP Volleyball: Finish, not the start, is what matters

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Ateneo’s freshman coach Oliver Almadro showed critics wrong on Saturday as the Lady Eagles regained the crown at the expense of the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses after losing in four sets to archrival La Salle at the start of the UAAP women’s volleyball season.

Almadro have faith in not how you start but how you finish the season that matters.

Almadro, responsible for steering the Ateneo men’s team to multiple championships before transitioning as the women’s coach, replacing Tai Bundit. “Sometimes, talents, science and skills are not important but how you trust each other.”

“We had a slow start, our system is not perfect, but the players trusted me and they trusted each other. All of us worked hard for this championship,” he added.

The Katipunan-based squad rose to the challenge following that opening-game defeat, finishing the double-round eliminations on top with a 12-2 win-loss record.

They encountered a stumbling block in the Final Four against Far Eastern University, needing to use their twice-to-beat incentive in ousting the Lady Tamaraws and reaching the Finals.

The game wasn’t a smooth start for Ateneo in the best-of-three titular series with UST, losing Game 1, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20. But the Lady Eagles rediscovered their deadly form to take Game 2, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15, and eventually the crown with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 Game 3 victory.

Almadro gave credit to UST for pushing them to the limit.

“They’re (UST) so passionate. Ang hirap tibagin. Mahirap kalaban yung team na hindi umaayaw (A team that refuses to give up is tough to beat),” Almadro concluded.

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