KARL Dimaculangan is no stranger to a perfect season.
As a player for University of Santo Tomas, the setter anchored the Growling Tigers to a perfect 17-0 record back in 2009 en route to the UAAP Season 71 crown where he was named as the Season and Finals MVP.
Karl Dimaculangan duplicates success
Thirteen years later, Dimaculangan achieved that feat again -- now as a coach -- as he guided National University to an immaculate 14-0 elimination run to steer the Lady Bulldogs to their first-ever Finals appearance in the Final Four era.
"Sobrang masaya and thankful sa players na rin," he said on the heels of NU's straight sets win over UST on Thursday.
"Yung feeling ko before na sweep, na-translate ko sa team. Player pa ako nung na-feel ko yung ganitong feeling na maka-sweep kaya sobrang saya na ngayon, coach naman ako."
It's an eeerily similar situation for Dimaculangan who saw a lot of similarities from those two teams.
With the Growling Tigers, Dimaculangan had a potent crew, which featured the likes of Jayson Ramos, Henry Pecana, JP Torres, and Harby Ilano, on the way to taking down Ateneo in the semis and University of the Philippines in the Finals.
It was the second of the team's four-peat as they reigned atop the men's volleyball tournament.
As for the Lady Bulldogs, it's a bumper crop of standouts with rookies Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, Lams Lamina, and Sheena Toring perfectly complementing the veterans led by Jennifer Nierva, Cess Robles, and Ivy Lacsina.
Dimaculangan understands that having that experience in his back pocket should be of great value for NU as it tries to win its first UAAP women's volleyball crown since 1957.
But at the end of the day, it's really a matter of staying true to its tried-and-tested formula.
"At this level na tapos na ang eliminations, ang message ko palagi sa team is nage-expect na tayo ng ganitong klase ng games na sobrang intense," said Dimaculangan, highlighting the higher stakes hanging in the balance as the Lady Bulldogs sit idle waiting for their championship date.
"Pressure na rin, pero siguro yun lang yung nire-remind ko sa team, na hindi pa tapos ang trabaho namin. So magu-usap na lang kami ng coaching staff para ma-plano namin yung next na gagawin namin preparing for the Finals."
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