ATENEO men’s volleyball coach Oliver Almadro is playing a different role this time on the sidelines of a basketball court as he was tasked to be Canada's team attaché in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Almadro considered his role of assisting Canada on and off the court during the competition in their bid to gain a spot for a berth in the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games both an honor and an unforgettable experience.
“It is an honor to serve kasi sa Pilipinas, I’m the head coach of Ateneo pero mahilig ako sa basketball,” Almadro said. “The local organizing committee of SBP asked me kung puwede ako, [and] I’m proud na na-invite ako to serve.”
The UAAP champion coach has nothing but good things to say about Canada, a team that has high-profile names such as team manager and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, as well as current NBA players Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph.
Almadro also related one memorable instance with Nash during the OQT at the Mall of Asia Arena, where he bought the future Hall of Famer a cup of coffee.
“He asked me to buy coffee and I told him ‘It’s on me.” (Sabi niya) ‘Are you sure?’ I bought him coffee,” said Almadro with a smile.
Almadro has been doing the same duties in the past, including the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship, but he was impressed with how Canada runs things during a tournament setting, something that he can apply as head coach of Ateneo.
“They are so humble and so organized. As a coach, it’s a learning experience for me. They don’t know that they are helping me also,” said Almadro.