ARELLANO coach Obet Javier kept his promise to his late wife as the Lady Chiefs swept thrice-to-beat San Sebastian to win the crown in the NCAA Season 92 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Chiefs clobbered the Lady Stags, 25-15, 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, on Tuesday at The PhilSports Arena, and the AU mentor was quick to give credit to his ‘guardian angel.’
“Actually noong Game One pa lang, alam ko na andon ‘yung misis ko,” said Javier of wife Amy Marie, who died of lung cancer two weeks ago.
“Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanya na, ‘I-guide mo ako, i-guide mo kami. Alam ko na gusto-gusto mo ulit na manalo tayo sa NCAA,’” he added.
The Lady Chiefs avenged their season-opening five-setter loss to SSC before they romped to a 12-game winning run, including three straight victories in the Finals.
“Napakalaki sa amin nito, kasi ‘yung mga bata, pinaghirapan namin ‘yung taon na ito ngayon. So noong elimination round, down kami sa Baste, nag-set kami ng goal na dapat hindi na ulit mangyari ‘yun (and) natupad naman,” he said.
Javier said in a previous interview that although he was still in grief, he kept his focus on their campaign and tried not to let the pain distract him from their goal.
But he found solace and comfort from his wards, whose main motivation is to win the championship for their ‘Tita Amy.'
“Maganda rin ‘yung motivation namin kasi sabi nga ng player ko, 'Coach, ang unang-unang motivation namin is para kay Tita,’” he said.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa players ko kasi sa ganoong bagay, nalaman ko na talagang dinamayan nila ako,” he added.
Finals MVP Jovielyn Prado shared that they wanted to at least ease the burden of Javier.
“Ayun po, kasi si coach po kasi, sobrang tatag halos hindi namin alam na may pinagdadaanan na po siya,” said the Vinzons, Camarines Norte native. “Noong nalaman po namin, nag go-hard po talaga kami para hindi niya na po kami intindihin.”