Coach O takes time to tell UE it also deserves to be in UAAP F4

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 28, 2019 04:51 PM
Coach O takes time to tell UE it also deserves to be in F4
Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro had nothing but praise for UE

Ateneo de Manila University took no time in dispatching University of the East, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Eagles blanked the Lady Warriors and needed just a little under an hour and a half to formalize its place as the playoffs top-seed.

Post-game, though, blue and white head coach Oliver Almadro lingered longer than usual in the opposite side. Asked about it afterward, he answered, "We want to give credit sa UE. Na-push talaga kami forward."

Indeed, Coach O's girls may have won in straight sets, but their opponents still put up a fight.

In particular, in the second, Ateneo found itself down by three, 21-24, until Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino connived in a 6-1 blitz to steal the set.

That was more than enough to prove that, indeed, UE was better than its 3-11 win-loss record. "I've been telling my players that we have to respect their players. [Laizah] Bendong is most likely a candidate for Best Setter, Kath Arado is a candidate for Best Digger and Best Receiver, [Judith] Abil is no. 5 sa scoring, then si [Mean] Mendrez is no. 7 sa scoring," Coach O said.

He then continued, "They are in the top spots, individually, and the coaching staff is doing very well. That's why I told them they pushed us forward; they really pushed us."

Up against the league-leaders, Mendrez had 12 points, Abil had 11 markers, Arado had 28 excellent digs and 12 excellent receptions, and Bendong had nine excellent sets.

And for that, the Lady Eagles believe that, if only there was a way, the Lady Warriors have all the right to have their campaign go just a little longer. "They deserve also to be in the Final Four. Kung pwedeng lahat yang eight na yan, may slots sa Final Four e," Coach O said.

He then continued, "But UE, they're also deserving."


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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