ATENEO-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro vowed that his Lady Eagles to bounce back when they fight to tie the series against the Creamline Cool Smashers in Game Two of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Finals on Saturday at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.
After a lethargic showing in Game One that saw them get swept by Creamline last Wednesday, Almadro told his wards not to give up even they are now on the brink of losing the best-of-three titular series.
“Sabi ko sa players ko, ‘let’s not give up even if the odds are against us, we should never give up,’” Almadro said.
Kat Tolentino, Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag, Ponggay Gaston, Deanna Wong, and the rest of Lady Eagles promised to heed his call.
“Lahat sila nagsasabi na babawi sila. Sabi ko, ‘don’t be pressured to win. Just play the right way, have the right motivation and never ever give up,’” he added.
The new Ateneo coach said that they just showed up in Game One and didn’t play like they were in the Finals.
“Kitang-kita naman na we’re too stiff, we’re too tight and wala eh naging conscious masyado ang mga players ko na they’re in the Finals,” he said. “We have to adjust yung heart ng mga players, yung tingin towards the game that they don’t have to be perfect just try to be good and everything will follow.
“Parang they are pressured to win eh. Sabi ko ‘no’. Ever since ang sinasabi ko naman sa kanila, ‘You are not pressured to win, just okay the right way and just give a beautiful game.’”
Almadro is insisting that the Lady Eagles should not be pressured to win as they should focus on learning, working on their own game and enjoy the finals.
“Of course ang kalaban really means business, this is a championship game for them,” he said. “Kami sabi ko we just have to play, maging makulit, maging masaya lang sa ginagawa. Siguro next game we will learn our lessons na.”
The Lady Eagles pulled off an epic comeback last week by winning Games Two and Three of the semifinals against BanKo Perlas Spikers in three days.
Can Ateneo-Motolite charge its way back again for the title? Almadro has one promise.
“We will commit ourselves to challenge them,” he said. “We also want to win of course. But we will start by doing good first, playing the right way and never give up. Kung saan kami dalhin ng attitude na yun, we’ll take it from there.”