The story of the night last February 24 was how the Ateneo Lady Eagles recovered from a two-set deficit and took down the FEU Lady Tamaraws to claim their second consecutive win in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles overcame their service reception problems for the victory after giving the Lady Tamaraws the first two sets. Kat Tolentino racked up 19 points on 17 kills and two blocks while Maddie Madayag had 14. Ponggay Gaston scored 9 points (16 digs, 18 receptions) and Jules Samonte had 7 (17 digs, 12 receptions) to deliver on both ends of the floor.
Somehow in talks about team wins, the coach is always the last to be mentioned even when he’s the one guiding the team to victory. Despite not donning a jersey to spike, block, or dig, the coach should be heralded for a victory as much as his players are. And for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, coach Oliver Almadro, is the man to be grateful to. Not only does he craft plays, but he also gives on-the-fly adjustments and advice for his players. And this come-from-behind win was no different. Just ask Ponggay.
Coach Oliver’s advice (and hugot) went viral in an instant after it surfaced on the internet. In the clip, he said, “Ponggay, umaatras ka na nang todo, hinahabol mo na naman! How many times do I have to tell you na lumagpas na sa yo, bitawan mo na? Pag iniwan ka, wag mo nang balikan.”
We may not be a part of the Lady Eagles, but we’ll try to remember that, too, coach.