It was a devastating week for Ramil De Jesus.
The seasoned volleyball coach absorbed back-to-back heartbreaking losses over the weekend as La Salle missed the UAAP Finals for the first time in 10 years, while F2 Logistics settled for a bridesmaid finish in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.
“Ito yung pinakamahirap. Sa akin parang mas lalo ko naramdaman yung pagod kasi parehas hindi naging successful yung dalawa,” said De Jesus after a heartbreaking weekend.
La Salle saw its three-year reign come to an end at the hands of University of Santo Tomas in a five-set thriller in their UAAP Season 81 women’s Final Four showdown on Sunday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
It will be the first time for the Lady Spikers to miss the UAAP Finals in a decade as the ‘four-peat’ remained elusive for the longest-tenured 11-time champion La Salle coach of 21 years, already trying the rare feat thrice but all failed.
Late Saturday night, F2 Logistics fell to Petron in a four-set loss in their winner-take-all Game 3 at the Arena in San Juan City.
Despite losing the Grand Prix for the second straight season at the helm of the Blaze Spikers, De Jesus was still happy for the silver medal of the Cargo Movers, who were short-handed due to injured players Kim Dy and Kim Fajardo as well as pregnant Cha Cruz-Behag.
De Jesus' imports also came late with Lindsay Stalzer arriving mid-first round, while MJ Perez replaced ex-reinforcement Becky Perry late in the second round.
But De Jesus still admitted that he had a tough time juggling his coaching duties for La Salle and F2 Logistics.
“Yun yung pinakamahirap na pinagdaanan ko na kulang ka pa sa tulog kailangan na gumising kasi kailangan ng preparasyon,” he said. “And then every other day may game sa isa and then ito. Halos buong week ako naglalaro.”
It was a hectic week for De Jesus starting last Sunday when La Salle lost its final elimination round game to Far Eastern University in five sets that prevented the defending champion from clinching the No. 2 spot.
On Tuesday, F2 Logistics halted Petron’s 17-game winning streak and took Game 1 of their best-of-three Grand Prix Finals. But on the next day, La Salle fell to UST in a playoff for No.2 and twice-to-beat advantage. On Thursday, Cargo Movers failed to claim the PSL title as Petron equalized the series and forced a winner-take-all.
Both De Jesus’s teams ended their respective campaigns with tough losses over the weekend.
“Yan yung pinakamahirap dito yung magprepare ka ng isang team, yung gumawa ng game plan at paano mo i-analyze yung galaw ng mga kalaban,” he said. “Yung magcoach kasi sa loob ng court given na yan depende sa situation na nakikita mo.”
De Jesus said that next year he will likely pass the coaching job of F2 Logistics during the Grand Prix conference as it’s hard to balance PSL and UAAP simultaneously.
“Well actually ayoko naman nito. Nai-commit lang ako ng mga hindi ko mahindiang tao,” De Jesus said. “Ever since naman sinasabi ko na iba yung UAAP season sa anumang PSL conference na kasabay. So ayoko magcoach kaya minsan naghahire kami ng ibang coach sa F2.”
For now, De Jesus will slowly pick up the pieces for F2 Logistics in the All-Filipino Conference this June and the preparation of his new recruits for La Salle in UAAP Season 82 next year.