MARCK Espejo is hardly surprised that coach Oliver Almadro continues to reap success even in a different division.
"Hindi naman bago yun," said the five-time UAAP men's volleyball MVP. "Knowing coach O naman, basta may magic yan eh. Lahat kaya niyang gawin."
Almadro, a three-time UAAP men's volleyball champion coach, snared his first title in the women's side as he steered Ateneo to the UAAP Season 81 throne with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 victory over University of Santo Tomas in the title decider on Saturday.
Sitting at courtside, Espejo is just proud to see his old mentor sustain his Midas' touch, this time with the Lady Eagles.
So much so that he felt a bit jealous being under the guidance of Almadro.
"Nanonood ako sa courtside at nakikita ko si coach O, parang nakaka-miss," said the 22-year-old outside hitter who now sees action for Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in the Japanese V.League.
"Namiss ko yung ganung coach ko na pinush ako na gawin ko yung best ko. Sobrang natutuwa ako for him dahil first season niya sa women's, nag-champion siya agad."
For Espejo, what sets Almadro apart is how he continues to get the most out of his players.
"Siya kasi yung coach na kahit yung players, hindi nagagawa yung role, nandoon siya para i-push sila. Yung trust niya, from players one to 14, nandoon yung trust niya," he said.
That's why Espejo only feels immense pride to have been handled by Almadro, and for Almadro to continue guiding the Lady Eagles to continuous success this year and in the seasons to come.
"Siya yung naging coach and father figure ko for five years. Siguro siya rin yung nagbigay sa akin ng opportunity makapaglaro sa other country," he said. "Kaya maswerte rin (ang Lady Eagles) na si coach O ang coach nila."