Coach Oliver Almadro: All is well for Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines – For Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro, the Lady Eagles have nothing to worry despite getting swept this season by fierce rival and defending champion La Salle in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament.
Almadro sees it as a test of the team's character as the Lady Eagles try again to put a lock on the top spot – which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four – in their last two games against eliminated teams Adamson (April 24) and University of the East (April 28).
"We just have to put that big faith again, in what we can do, in what we should do. So we will be holding on that,” said Almadro.
Ateneo headed into the long break seeing its 10-game winning streak get snapped by La Salle in a surprisingly quick three-set triumph
"Well hindi kami nagulat pero talagang it’s one of those days na, we really accept na we’re off and hindi nakakilos," said Almadro.
(We’re not shocked. It’s one of those days that we’re off, we didn’t play well and we accepted that.)
It only took 82 minutes for the Lady Spikers to frustrate the Lady Eagles, who missed on their first chance of clinching the twice-to-beat semifinal edge.
The league’s best blocking team also failed to register a single block kill, which was very uncharacteristic for the team, according to Almadro. (READ: No blocks: La Salle shuts down Ateneo's greatest strength)
However, the setback isn't a big concern for the Lady Eagles, who kept pole position with a 10-2 card.
"Wala naman masyadong concern eh," said Almadro. "Ang concern lang is most likely, medyo may tendency mag-overthink, medyo may tendency to start slow. Eh yung kalaban medyo hyped up right away and then you want to cope up, medyo too late. Yun lang naman, we really have to practice starting it strong right away."
(We don’t have a lot of concerns, actually. Maybe our only worry is we have a tendency to overthink and we started slow. Our opponent was hyped up right away and we didn’t cope up in time. We really have to practice starting it strong right away.)
"It's not the championship yet. So, what we’re praying for and what we’re working for is for us to have a chance to be in the finals and then that's it. We'll make it to the end." – Leigh Nald Cabildo/Rappler.com