FOR the first time in 10 Seasons, La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus was the one wishing good luck to a team that barged into the championship round of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Lady Spikers' expense.
The three-time defending champion bid farewell to its four-peat bid after the second-seeded University of Santo Tomas pulled off a gritty 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10 victory in the Final Four of Season 81 on Sunday at the MOA Arena.
De Jesus, a true sportsman, was the first to congratulate his UST counterpart, coach Kungfu Reyes, wishing the Tigresses good luck in their first Finals stint in eight years.
“Ganoon pala ang pakiramdam kapag ginu-good luck ka ni coach Ramil,” shared Reyes during the post-game interview.
Reyes added he will treat De Jesus’ words of encouragement as a morale booster.
“Ngayon lang nagsi-sink in sa akin ‘yung ano [usapan] namin kanina [after the game], marami man siyang gustong sabihin talagang medyo maingay na,” he said.
Reyes, who was still a volleyball player for UST back when De Jesus shaped La Salle into the UAAP powerhouse that it is today, was grateful for the encouraging words shared by the 11-time UAAP champion coach.
“Gusto ko man siyang yakapin, baka sabihin nagro-romance na kaming dalawa kanina,” he said.
“So ‘yung mga natutunan ko kay coach Ramil during magkalaban kami malaking bagay tapos malaking pagkakataon sa akin na ‘yung champion coach ako ang ginu-good luck para sa taon na ito, para sa finals,” he added. “Kasi siyempre living legend na natin sa Philippine volleyball ‘yan, sa generation nila na ito.”
UST will face the winner of the do-or-die semifinals match between Far Eastern University and Ateneo in the best-of-three finals, which starts on Saturday.
“Kung sino man ang manalo sa kabila i-congratulate namin, lalabanan namin,” said Reyes.