'Di ko nakita 'to -- Almadro on success in men's volleyball

Mark Escarlote on Jun 13, 2017 06:11 PM
'Di ko nakita 'to -- Almadro on success in men's volleyball
Malaking bagay to para sa Cignal kasi nakakahiya naman nag-champion ‘yung women's, nag-champion ‘yung PBA D-League (team) -- Oliver Almadro

Cignal rookie coach Oliver Almadro was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief after facing pressure to deliver a men's volleyball title for the franchise, which had early success on different fronts early this year.

The HD Spikers completed a best-of-three Finals series sweep against archrival Philippine Air Force in a thrilling 17-25, 27-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10, marathon win in Game 2 Tuesday to claim the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s division crown at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Cignal’s win gave the company its third sports title this year after winning the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup bannered by the core of NCAA basketball champions San Beda Red Lions and ruling the Philippine Superliga Invitational women’s volleyball early this year.       

“Malaking bagay to para sa Cignal kasi nakakahiya naman nag-champion ‘yung women's, nag-champion ‘yung PBA D-League (team),” said Almadro, the architect of Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles’ volleyball three-peat in the UAAP.

“Nasa amin ‘yung pressure eh going to this tournament,” added Almadro, who took the reins this year from former coach Macky Carino in his first experience as a club league mentor. “Buti na lang nagtrabaho ng mabuti mga players ko and they showed everybody what's their worth.”

Behind the combined efforts of Finals Most Valuable Player Lorenzo Capate, Mark Alfafara, Peter Torres, Best Setter winner Vince Mangulabnan and former Ateneo stars Ysay Marasigan and Rex Intal, the HD Spikers found a way to end a couple of Finals series losses against the Jet Spikers.

The win evened the Finals head-to-head of the two proud teams to two tournaments apiece. Cignal won the 2015 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference before Air Force took the league’s Open and Reinforced titles the following year.

“Well unang-una ‘yung Cignal naman before I came is a strong team na. Maganda na ‘yung team nila so nu’ng pagkatalo nu’ng previous years I just gave them the confidence. The "always believe" attitude. ‘Yung parang attitude na never give up, yun lang naman ang binigay ko sa kanila this time,” said Almadro.

“They are already a talented team. They just have to believe in themselves and they just have to combine their talents and efforts.,” he added. “‘Yun ang nabigay ko sa kanila. I'm thanking the management of Cignal for giving me the opportunity and trusting me.”

Already considered as one of the country’s best men’s volleyball team mentors, Almadro, humble as always, credited the other great tacticians that he had the honor to work with.     

“’Di ko nakita ‘to. I owe it to my mentors coach Ramil (De Jesus), coach Nes (Pamilar), coach Ronald Dulay, coach Kid (Santos), coach Emil (Lontoc). So lahat ng ‘yun pagsasama-samahin mo lang kung anong meron sila,” he said. “And of course, syempre ‘yung experience ko rin sa ateneo na from bottom nagkaroon din ako ng confidence sa sarili ko. I really believe in God's will siguro God's will ito amd and I hope that the Lord will strengthen me and my team always.”




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