PVL: We’re too stiff, too tight – Almadro
Mark Escarlote on Dec 06, 2018 11:53 AM
I’m sorry to the fans and the supporters but as I’ve said my players will really do their best and will never ever give up next time -- Ateneo-Motolite coach Oliver Almadro
Ateneo-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro apologized to the fans and supporters of the Lady Eagles following a straight sets beating at the hands of Creamline in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference Finals.
What was expected to be a tight battle between two of the season-ending tournament’s most popular teams turned out to be a one-sided affair Wednesday after the Cool Smashers destroyed the younger and taller Lady Eagles, 25-17, 25-10, 25-15, in front of a huge crowd inside the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“I’m sorry to the fans and the supporters, but as I’ve said my players will really do their best and will never ever give up next time,” said Almadro. “What’s important for us is that we are learning our lesson this time.”
The Lady Eagles never had a chance to get into fighting form as the Cool Smashers led by former Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez and prized setter Jia Morado dismantled their vaunted net defense while punishing Ateneo-Motolite’s floor defense.
“Kitang-kita naman na we’re too stiff, we’re too tight and wala eh naging conscious masyado ang mga players ko na they’re in the Finals,” Almadro said. “We have to adjust ‘yung heart ng mga players, ‘yung tingin towards the game that they don’t have to be perfect just try to be good and everything will follow.”
The mentor felt that his wards crumbled under pressure. Expectations for his squad skyrocketed especially after the Lady Eagles’ massive Final Four win over veteran-laden and top title contender BanKo.
“Parang they are pressured to win eh,” he said. “Sabi ko ‘no’. Ever since ang sinasabi ko naman sa kanila, ‘You are not pressured to win just play the right way and just give a beautiful game.”
Playing out of sync, the Lady Eagles allowed the Cool Smashers to pummel them with 41 attacks points while scoring only 22 kills. The net defense that served as Ateneo-Motolite’s bread and butter the whole tournament was amiss with only Maddie Madayag scoring her team’s lone kill block.
It didn’t help that they allowed 11 aces to land coupled with poor first balls that stymied the Lady Eagles’ offense.
“’Yun nga naging stiff. Di kami naka-adjust, nanigas kaagad and nagtuluy-tuloy na,” explained Almadro. “Creamline came prepared, it’s their job to be prepared in this tournament.”
“Talagang they showed na they are champions. They are not champions for nothing. They played well, siguro kami pailan-ilan kaming nakakasundot sa kanila,” he added. “But yun nga we’re too tight in this game, we’re too stiff. My players they did not play freely, gusto nilang maging perfect sa ginagawa nila.”
But Almadro and the rest of Ateneo-Motolite will not waive the white flag that easily. They may have lost the battle but not the war.
Come Game 2 on Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum, they vow to fight until the end.
“Sabi ko sa players ko ngayon, ‘let’s not give up even if the odds are against us, we should never give up,’” said Almadro.
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