Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro still confident of title chances after straight-sets loss to NU
Oliver Almadro's top hitter Marck Espejo is limited to 16 points in the three-set match. Dante Peralta

COACH Oliver Almadro remained optimistic Ateneo will bounce back after a straight-set loss to National University, 20-25, 19-25, 23-25, in the opener of the best-of-three finals of the UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The second match is on Wednesday.

“Wala namang natatapos sa one game lang,” said Almadro.

“So it’s still two games para makuha ‘yung championship.”

“Still wala pa ring champion this year. We’re just giving it in a positive… positive pa rin ‘yung approach namin,” he added.

Almadro admitted the team wasn’t able to prepare enough for the finals, after beating twice-to-beat No. 2 seed Far Eastern University in the Final Four.  

Ateneo top hitter Marck Espejo, who averaged 46 points in the semifinals, was limited to just 16 points, while Ish Polvorosa, who had a 9.4 average sets per set, had 11 excellent sets in the match one-hour and 19-minute match.

“Kanina hindi kami nakapag-adjust right away,” he said. “Medyo na-tight and dumating na rin kasi ‘yung fatigue siguro mentally, emotionally, and physically.”

“But I’m sure, I trust my players, they’re very resilient,” he said.

“So what’s important is hindi pa tapos ‘yung series. We still have one more game to go. Hats off to NU, they are really prepared, they are rested well,” he added.



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