OLIVER Almadro is grateful to Petro Gazz Angels for bringing him to his second playoff appearance in the Premier Volleyball League - and his first with his new squad. "I'm happy na nadala nila ako sa semifinals," he said after the Angels clinched the second semis spot in the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference with a 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16 romp of also-ran Akari on Thursday at the PhilSports Arena.
READ: Petro Gazz punches ticket to PVL semifinals
"I've not been here for quite a while. So, I thank the Lord for them. They are the Angels, so I thank the Angels for bringing me here in the semifinals."
In his three years in the PVL, Almadro only reached the semis once with the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the 2022 PVL Open Conference, where they settled for fourth place after bowing to eventual bronze medalist Cignal.
Now Almadro is grateful he was able to continue the legacy of the 2022 Open Conference silver medalist and two-time PVL champion, who he joined after parting ways with Choco Mucho prior to the campaign.
"That's our realistic goal - to be in the semifinals first. Sabi nga namin, we'll work hard to reach the realistic goal first and then let's take it from there. And if the Lord will give us the opportunity to be in the finals, we'll be happy," he said.
The concurrent Ateneo women's volleyball coach in the UAAP also credited the warm reception he got from the Angels, which he said fostered a good, working relationship within the team.
"When I arrived here in this team, too much welcoming sila and I'm really happy na what I instill in them, hindi pa nga sobra-sobra eh, I just remind them... parang kaibigan lang nila, to guide them, sabi ko nga, I'm just an instrument to guide, magpaalala," he said.
"Ako, I talk to Chi, I talk to Djanel Cheng, I talk to, 'O eto gagawin natin, eto gagawin.' So we cooperate. Yung cooperation, teamwork. Sabi nga, be a good teammate all the time."
Despite securing their spot in the Final Four, Almadro reminded his players not to lose sight of their goal.
The Angels are currently the best blocking team, second best in spiking, serving, setting and receiving team, and the third best digging team in the league.
"Yes, we're happy that we're in the semifinals but we should not be stopping. Hindi kami pwedeng tumigil. Ang importante is we have to be better than our best every day and every game," he said.
Petro Gazz is ending the elimination round against semifinals-seeking Chery Tiggo on Tuesday at IloIlo City.