"Weird. Ayokong tawagin nila akong coach." -- new Lady Eagles assistant coach Morado
Mark Escarlote on Sep 02, 2017 06:54 PM
Si coach Tai gusto niya (mag-assistant coach ako) tapos 'yung (athletics) office din tinanong ako, kasi nakiki-training din ako sa kanila kapag wala akong ginagawa. Tinuturuan ko 'yung setters, so ayun sabi nila gusto mo ba ma-try na mag-assistant coach and I said yes wala naman akong ginagawa -- new Ateneo assistant coach Jia Morado
Jia Morado returned to Ateneo de Manila University.
She was again in blue in the Lady Eagles’ opening game against Jose Rizal University in Group A of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Saturday.
But instead of the school’s regular kit, the UAAP Season 77 Best Setter donned a simple blue shirt and jeans.
Instead of flicking excellent sets, she was calling out plays from the sidelines.
Morado is now playing a different role.
Coach Tai Bundit’s assistant coach to be exact.
“Yes, for this conference,” Morado confirmed when asked of her new post in Ateneo. “Siguro coach Tai thought na OK lang na mag-assistant coach ako kasi I was in the court with them once and I know 'yung ibang situations.”
“I was in the court with them once so alam ko how to handle ang ibang situations and maybe I can give useful input naman kapag kailangan nila or kapag nara-rattle sila but I know naman they can handle themselves,” she added.
Last year, ex-Ateneo ace hitter Alyssa Valdez also sat as Bundit's assistant coach in the V-League Collegiate Conference.
Morado was a key piece of the Lady Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP crowns back in 2014 and 2015. She still has one playing year left but decided to ‘graduate’ from the team after Ateneo lost to archrival De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 79 Finals.
Given a new role to help the rebuilding Katipunan-based squad, the ace playmaker admitted that she’s still adjusting to a new position she got just a few days ago.
“Si coach Tai gusto niya (mag-assistant coach ako) tapos 'yung (athletics) office din tinanong ako, kasi nakiki-training din ako sa kanila kapag wala akong ginagawa. Tinuturuan ko 'yung setters, so ayun sabi nila gusto mo ba ma-try na mag-assistant coach and I said yes wala naman akong ginagawa,” said Morado.
But there’s one thing she doesn’t want to be called.
“Weird eh, Jia pa rin (ang gusto kong itawag sa akin). Ayaw ko naman na coach,” she said. “Hindi rin ako sasagot kapag coach itatawag nila sa akin.”
Asked if she will reconsider her decision to leave the team, Morado stands firm.
“For me na lang, personal reason (ang di pagbalik sa Ateneo). I hope na lang na everyone respects my decision,” she explained.
But one thing’s for sure, she will still be there to help the Lady Eagles.
“Oo, naman, I'm always here hindi ko naman papabayaan ang girls basta-basta,” she said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles