Coach heartened to know former players Alyssa Valdez and Co. never forget their roots
Francis Vicente coached Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo and the Santiago sisters during their high school days. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the East coach Francis Vicente remains without a win in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, but got a little consolation from no less than reigning league MVP Alyssa Valdez.

The veteran mentor failed to start the second round of eliminations with a win as the Lady Warriors fell to University of the Philippines, 17-25, 13-25, 21-25, on Wednesday.

But on the brighter side, Vicente managed to flash a smile when informed that Valdez, his former star player, never fails to credit his ‘daddy’ for what and where she is today.

“It’s very flattering nakaka-uplift ng damdamin,” said Vicente, the former coach of University of Santo Tomas girls’ volleyball team.

“Nagpapasalamat naman ako na nababanggit pa rin kami. It’s very flattering at nakakataba ng puso,” he added.

[See Alyssa Valdez pays tribute to high school coaches]

Vicente recalled how he and his former assistant at UST, Kungfu Reyes, always reminded their players to always keep their feet on the ground and never forget where they came from.

“Kasi noong tine-training namin sila kasama ko si coach Kungfu always namin sinasabi na you should be humble at all times,” he added.

“Whatever success you have kailangan ‘wag mong kakalimutan ‘yung pinagsimulan mo,” he stressed.

Vicente, coach of the UST high school team that won three consecutive titles in the UAAP, also once handled Santiago sisters Dindin and Jaja during their time at the Espana-based school before they transferred to National University, along with La Salle setter Kim Fajardo.

“Lahat noong dumaan sa akin (sinasabi ko) lagi ka dapat maging humble,” said Vicente. “Kahit anong mangyari ‘wag ka dapat magyayabang, maging humble ka, tignan mo kung saan ka galing lagi pero i-angat mo ng i-angat ‘yung sarili mo.”

UE will try to snap its losing streak when it battles Far Eastern University on Saturday.

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