DLSU's volleyball program continuously evolves under De Jesus
Mark Escarlote on Jul 28, 2020 04:20 PM
The evolution of DLSU volleyball lies not only from the great players but mainly because of the way Coach Ramil adjusts and adapts on the current situation -- Manilla Santos-Ng on DLSU head coach Ramil De Jesus
From Iris Ortega-Patrona to legendary star Manilla Santos-Ng to Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Michele Gumabao, Majoy Baron and Kim Dy to the current crop of players in Jolina Dela Cruz to Thea Gagate, much can be said about the successful women’s volleyball program of De La Salle University.
But it won’t be complete without mentioning the name of head coach Ramil de Jesus, who turned a struggling team into a perennial title contender for the past two decades.
Eleven championships in 18 Finals appearances since taking the post as mentor of the Lady Spikers in 1997 with an impressive winning record, De Jesus truly is the genius behind DLSU’s powerhouse status.
But what really put De Jesus a cut above the rest, Santos-Ng said, is his ability to adapt, utilize the pieces he has on hand and the way his system evolves.
“The evolution of DLSU volleyball lies not only from the great players, but mainly because of the way Coach Ramil adjusts and adapts on the current situation,” said Santos-Ng in an interview on Volleyball DNA.
She mentioned that during her time, De Jesus focused on making DLSU a powerhitting team. When the likes of Marano and Gumabao came, the mentor concentrated on making the Lady Spikers the strongest team in terms of blocking. The batch of Dy, Kim Fajardo, Baron and libero Dawn Macandili was known for its all-around play.
What brought DLSU its success is the fact that De Jesus was quick to adapt to situations.
Of course, glory didn’t come overnight. It took De Jesus a lot of work to bring the Lady Spikers on top.
De Jesus delivered DLSU’s first title in Season 62 in the Lady Spikers' second attempt at the crown. The Taft-based squad managed to advance to the Finals the next three seasons but fell short at the hands of Far Eastern University each time.
“Nu’ng pumunta ako ng La Salle, sa pagkakaalam ko hindi pa kami malakas na team eh,” said Santos-Ng
“So talagang si Coach Ramil dahan-dahan n’ya talagang winorkout ang mga players and the program,” she added. “Dun mo makikita na si Coach Ramil talaga is very dedicated and committed kapag mayroon siyang goal.”
After three bridesmaid finishes, DLSU, on Santos-Ng’s second year, exacted revenge on FEU to get back to the throne.
DLSU won two more times for its first of three three-peats.
Santos-Ng said that De Jesus during that time made his players stay in a dorm for the first time not only to monitor their conditioning but to develop a deeper team chemistry.
“‘Yung time na yun gusto nya kaming maging well-bonded. Di lang strong team but well-bonded,” said Santos-Ng. “Kasi you can easily create a strong team eh. Pagsasamahin mo mga malalakas na players from this school. But strong team plus well-bonded team makes a big difference.”
The ChocoMucho hitter also added that De Jesus will always look for ways to the unleash the full potential of his players.
“Si Coach Ramil hindi siya nauubusan ng idea kung paano kami palakasin. Kung ano ang nakikita niya sa player na kulang talagang magpo-focus siya dun. Di siya magdya-jump kaagad sa ibang gagawin. May pagka-perfectionist siya eh,” she said.
Like all of De Jesus’ players Santos-Ng had her share of rough moments while training under his watchful eyes.
“Umiiyak din ako sa kanya. Pero makikita mo at the end of the day ‘yung result ng team kung paano kami gumalaw as one sa loob ng court,” she said.
De Jesus according to Santos-Ng is also very strict when it comes to discipline.
“Coach Ramil is very consistent on how he manages to protect ‘yung mga players. Ayaw niyang nawawala sa focus,” said Santos-Ng. “Lagi niyang sinasabi na, Hindi ito modeling, hindi ito para magpaganda o magpa-cute. Volleyball itong pinasok nyo.’”
“He always reminds us para lang talaga hindi kami mawala dun sa focus na maglaro lang talaga kami ng volleyball,” she added.
More than a decade since Santos-Ng finished her tour of duty for the green and white, the Lady Spikers continue to evolve and keep up with the times yet maintain their consistency as one of the finest volleyball program in the collegiate ranks.
All thanks to De Jesus.
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