PVL: She makes the work easy -- Okumu on Tolenada

Mark Escarlote on Aug 25, 2019 10:12 PM
PVL: She makes the work easy -- Okumu on Tolenada
But all in all, the work is easy. She makes the work easy -- Motolite head coach Godfrey Okumu on setter Iris Tolenada

Setter Iris Tolenada’s role in Motolite goes beyond being the squad’s designated playmaker.

The Fil-American also plays as Motolite head coach Godfrey Okumu’s deputy inside the court.

Okumu didn’t need to give much instructions to Tolenada as he would with the other Motolite players because he knows that the setter already has an idea on how he wants their game plan to be executed inside the court.

Okumu is confident that his instructions will be relayed to the tee knowing that he’s communicating it with Tolenada, who herself is a volleyball mentor in the US.  

“We always talk, before I tell her anything about what I’m expecting from her, I just tell her ‘I know, and I believe you know what I’m about to say and I don’t need to tell you this,’” said Okumu of Tolenada on Sunday following Motolite’s 25-9, 25-20, 25-19, drubbing of BaliPure for a 2-1 win-loss record in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference.  

“That’s what I always tell her. ‘I don’t have to tell you this.’ So it’s something that she knows,” added Okumu of the playmaker, who tallied 17 excellent sets and four points.

Tolenada, who works as San Francisco State University women’s volleyball team assistant coach and also made a stint as volleyball instructor at Stanford University summer camp, made her return to the league three years since she led Pocari Sweat in the defunct Shakey’s V-League Open Conference crown in 2016.     

Playing with a relatively young core, Okumu knows that Tolenada needs a lot of adjustment but the mentor lauds the playmaker for making his work easy.  

“I think we have to find a way for the team to jell together, how to defend, how to attack. This player plays this ball perfectly, get the ball, maybe she’s struggling. So those are the things that again we have to find a way as we go so we make it easier for her to know how to play with different spikers,” said Okumu.

“But all in all, the work is easy,” Okumu said. “She makes the work easy.”

Tolenada welcomes the challenge of leading a young team together with Myla Pablo, whom she has played with before in Pocari Sweat.  

“It’s definitely been different,” she said. “They make us feel young but it has been great.”

“I think they’re starting to learn. I think Myla and myself, we’re doing our best to be leaders for them and we just tried to drop them in and make them compete as hard as possible,” Tolenada added. “They have the potential so we just to keep on working hard.”



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