Lady Pirates show vintage coach Emil Lontoc mark

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 08, 2017 02:02 PM
Lady Pirates show vintage coach Emil Lontoc mark
The Lady Pirates of Lyceum of the Philippines University with their winning coach Emil Lontoc (sixth from right, back row).

The Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates took a straight-sets beating from the deadly National University Lady Bulldogs Monday in their first outing in the Premier Volleyball League, but they still managed to sufficiently impress a woman official of the organizing Sports Vision.

Coming from the VIP section midway in the second set of the NU-Lyceum match to rejoin her colleagues inside the temporary Sports Vision office at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City, she was asked how the Lady Pirates were doing against the heavily favored Lady Bulldogs.

“Ayun naman magandang kumilos ang mga bata, mabibilis, mahusay ang skills at alam kung saan puposisyon sa court,” she replied.

What she said aptly describes how any player under coach Emil Lontoc usually turns out. Skilled, fast-moving and adequately drilled on where she should position herself on the court in any given play or rotation.

That is vintage coach Emil, the man who in his 33 years as head coach of the University of Santo Growling Tigers had given the school UAAP championships so many that he lost count of them. (See separate story on coach Lontoc elsewhere on this website.)

But unlike when he was with the Espana-based squad, at Lyceum he could not, he said, move around the country to scout for talents as much as he’d like to. “Our school has no money for that,” he explained simply.

What he does instead now is spot tall students on the Lyceum campus or nearby, approach them whether they play volleyball or not, and offer them scholarships. He develops non-volleyball players into highly skilled practitioners of the sport.

That was how he assembled his present team on Lyceum’s return to a Sports Vision-organized tournament after quite a long absence. “Basta matangkad ang babae at bata pa, nilalapitan ko at agad na aalukin ng scholarship kapalit ng pagpayag nyang mag-training sa akin.”

Which explains why his players, aged 19 to 23 years old, all come from Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan. The farthest origin of his wards is Legaspi in Bicol.

The complete Lady Pirates lineup: Ysabel Marcella, Cherilyn Jhane Sindayen, Ciamelle Wanta, Cyrielle Carramanzanna, Cherry Rose Genova, Bien Elaine Juanillo, La Rainne Fabay, Patrice Mabelle Inton, Alexandra Rafael, Miralles Christine, Pia Sarmiento, Clarisse Tizon, Monica Jane Sevilla, and Rocelyn Hongria.

Team manager, Allan Layco; head coach, Emiliano Lontoc; assistant coach Benjamine Mape; trainer, Cromwell Garcia; and trainer/therapist, Audrey Alano.

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