Oliver Almadro remains proud of what Petro Gazz has achieved in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League-All Filipino Conference, despite losing the elusive title to Creamline in the finals.
The Angels drew first blood in the finale and secured their first win against the Cool Smashers since 2019 in Game One before pushing the Rebisco-backed team to their limits in Game Two, where Creamline eventually tied the series.
However, Petro Gazz failed to close out the Cool Smashers in Game Three, suffering a 25-20, 20-25, 18-25, 15-25 loss last Thursday.
Still, Almadro was pretty satisfied with what he saw from the Angels, considering they were just 15 points away from securing their first-ever All-Filipino championship against a mighty Creamline side in the second game of the series.
“I’m still happy. I’m happy we had this run. Sabi ko nga sa sarili ko, sabi ko sa team, we are one set away from the championship,” said Almadro after the loss.
“’Di ba sa second game nag-five sets? We are one set away, 15 points away from the championship, and that’s how Creamline outworked us sa 15 points,” he added.
The former Choco Mucho head coach also expressed how proud he was of his team for stepping up to the challenge after the departure of Myla Pablo, Bang Pineda, former head coach Rald Ricafort, and ex-assistant coach Arnold Laniog, who all played key roles in the team’s Reinforced Conference championship run just last December.
“Kanina nga we’re talking sinasabi nila na maraming umalis, nagulat sila na umalis na pala, they’re left with what they have. So sinasabi ko naman noong dumating ako sa kanila, we will find a way [and] make a way of what we have, and indeed those players na feeling nila kulang sila dati pero ngayon na-feel nila na they are worth it,” said the two-division UAAP and Spikers’ Turf Grand Slam champion coach.
“Kumbaga meron pa pala silang ibubuga. They proved themselves they are really players na aabot pa rin ng finals, and they are really a team to beat pa rin kahit nakulangan sila ng players, but sometimes it’s not about the skills, most of the time it’s about the character,” he added.
Almadro said that the Angels will continue to work hard as they look to finally end their All-Filipino Conference drought next year.
“So God works in mysterious ways, and I know that soon I will not be a champion today, I will not be a champion tomorrow or next month, but I’m really sure that we will be champions soon.”