DO YOU REMEMBER: When Coach Ramil De Jesus called the Lady Spikers 'pambarangay'?
Mark Escarlote on May 14, 2020 12:59 PM
Photo courtesy of Josh Albeda
De La Salle University women’ volleyball coach Ramil De Jesus is a no-nonsense mentor.
His credentials say it all: 11 UAAP titles including three grand slams, multiple commercial league crowns, the architect of the women’s national team’s last podium finish in the Southeast Asian Games and one of the most respected coaches in the country.
So, when De Jesus speaks everyone listens.
When he sees his team mess up, he won’t hesitate to call out his wards’ mistakes.
Most of the time he’ll use scathing words. Enough to lit a fire under his team.
Remember the time he called the Lady Spikers ‘pambarangay’?
Back in February 24, 2018, the then two-time defending champion DLSU faced a bold Adamson University squad for the first time in Season 80.
The Lady Spikers, bannered by a battle-tested roster, which included Majoy Baron, the Most Valuable Player the previous year, Kim Kianna Dy and Tin Tiamzon, came into the match fresh off a sweep of University of the East.
On the other hand, the Lady Falcons were on a slump after losing back-to-back games including a sorry five-set loss to Ateneo de Manila University.
But Adamson scored one of that season’s biggest upsets.
The Lady Falcons jumped on a surprised DLSU side in the first set. The Lady Spikers were able to equalize in the second but were overwhelmed by Adamson, which finished last the year before, in the next two frames.
It was a shocker.
The Lady Falcons defeated the Lady Spikers, 25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-22. It was DLSU’s second loss in six outings and second in three games.
It also marked the first defeat of DLSU to Adamson in a decade. The Lady Falcons submitted the Lady Spikers in Season 70 when the Rissa Laguilles and Angela Benting-led Adamson squad defeated the Carla Llaguno and Jacq Alarca-bannered Lady Spikers, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16, on January 23, 2008.
But what made the defeat more painful was the fact that a former DLSU player gave the Lady Spikers the biggest headache.
Eli Soyud, who was a part of DLSU’s Season 78 champion team, scored 18 points on 13 hits, three kills blocks and two aces and was backed by then returning Mylene Paat and Joy Dacoron with 15 markers each with a combined nine kill blocks.
The game stats proved how terrible the Taft-based squad played.
Adamson had 46 attack points compared to DLSU’s 41. The Lady Spikers known for their net defense were outhustled in blocking, 6-13. They even gave up 27 free points off errors.
DLSU was outplayed, outclassed.
De Jesus was livid.
“Dapat kapag suot mo ang jersey ng La Salle dapat larong La Salle ang gagawin mo, hindi ‘yung, sabi ko nga kanina, parang ang suot mo isang team lang sa barangay eh,” he told reporters. “’Pam-barangay lang ang laro niyo, doon lang kayo bagay, hindi kayo bagay sa UAAP.’”
His statement didn’t go well for some volleyball fans but De Jesus’ former players defended the mentor.
It was the wake-up call the Lady Spikers needed.
And it served its purpose.
DLSU recovered in its next, defeating the Lady Eagles in four sets.
The Lady Spikers went on to win all of their succeeding elimination round games including a four-set revenge on the Lady Falcons.
DLSU eliminated National University in the Final Four before sweeping the Bernadeth Pons-led Far Eastern University in the Finals series to claim its third three-peat conquest in the last two decades.
Overall, the Lady Spikers won 11 straight games since their ‘pambarangay’ performance.
“Kung ano man ang sabihin ko, alam nila kung bakit ko sinasabi ‘yun. And sa ngayon siguro, ano, isang key ‘yun para iayos nila ang sarili nila,” said De Jesus looking back. “Pero kaya ako nagsalita ng ganoon, hindi ko gusto ang performance nila. ‘Yun lang ‘yun. So nag-work naman.”
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