Oliver Almadro is now a multi-division champion coach in the UAAP.
After raising Ateneo de Manila University from the basement all the way to three championships in the men’s division, he has now guided the Lady Eagles to the mountaintop of the UAAP 81 Women's Volleyball Tournament.
For Marck Espejo, it wasn't even a surprise that Coach O would bring over his winning tradition from the men's to the women's division. "'Di naman bago yun. Nag-start siya sa women's din and knowing Coach O, basta, may magic yan e," he shared.
He then continued, "Lahat, kaya niyang gawin."
Of course, if there's one player who knows Almadro best, it would be Espejo as the latter played for the former for five years.
And in the eyes of the five-time Men's MVP, the reason his mentor found success in another division is pretty simple - he unlocks the potential of his players. As he put it, "Siya kasi yung coach na kahit yung players, hindi nagagawa yung role, nandun pa rin siya para i-push. Yung trust niya, from 1 to 14 players, nandun."
That mentorship is something that Espejo would always miss. "Nanonood ako courtside, nakikita ko si Coach O, parang nakaka-miss. Na-miss ko yung ganung coach kong ni-push akong gawin yung best ko," he shared.
He then continued, "Sobrang natutuwa ako for him dahil first season niya sa women's, nag-champion agad."
Nonetheless, the so-called "Phenom" of Men's Volleyball will always have those five years with Coach O to cherish. "Siya yung naging coach and father figure ko. Siya rin yung nagbigay sa akin ng opporunity na makapaglaro sa other country," he said.
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