Cignal coach Almadro draws inspiration from Cavs win
Mark Escarlote on Jun 10, 2017 04:43 PM
Cignal head coach Oliver Almadro with Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament last year in Manila. (Photo courtesy of Oliver Almadro)
Cignal head coach Oliver Almadro had two reasons to celebrate Saturday.
One, his HD Spikers pulled off a crucial Game 1 win over Philippine Air Force in the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s division Finals series at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
And the other one?
Well, his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers and good buddy Tristan Thompson defeated the Golden State Warriors in a blowout in Game 4 of the NBA Finals to avoid a series sweep.
“Oo nga eh. Napanood ko tambak na nu’ng pa-park na ako dyan eh,” said Almadro after his squad’s 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 win over the Jet Spikers to move a step closer to clinching the title.
The mentor, who became friends with the Cavs center when he worked as team attache for Canada where Thompson plays during last year’s FIBA Olympic Qualifier held in Manila, was able to witness the incredible display of defiance from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Thompson and JR Smith as they destroyed the Dubs, 137-116, in a match highlighted by 24 treys by the Cavs through a small TV inside his car.
“Ayoko na nga sana bumaba (sa kotse) kanina eh,” said Almadro. “Pero sabi ko nga let’s just believe. Sabi ko nga nangatawan si Lebron kanina and nangatawan si Kyrie.”
But of course the mentor had to get out of his car to lead his HD Spikers in the 1:00 p.m. duel.
That Cavs win motivated him to steer his team to the pivotal victory against a rival club that defeated his squad twice in their previous Finals meetings.
“Na-inspire ako kay LBJ eh,” he proudly said.
Almadro, who initially predicted the NBA series to end after six games for the Cavs, admitted that he got worried in some tense moments in the game.
“Talagang Golden State is really talented and ang ganda ng sistema. Kanina sa third quarter talagang scare pa rin ‘yun from 19 naging 11 na lang,” he said. “Pero ganoon talaga ang sports may up and down. Kapag up ka kailangan mong i-grab na.”
Game 5 of the NBA Finals is on Tuesday morning, a few hours before Almadro and Cignal troop back inside the court for their championship series Game 2.
“Mapapanood ko naman kasi may TV naman ako sa kotse,” said Almadro. “Doon na lang ako manonood.”
Now Almadro, just like the rest of the Cavs fans, could only hold on to the belief that Cleveland would still be able to “Defend the Land.”
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