De La Salle University’s super rookie Angel Canino has finally played a game in the UAAP with legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus on the sidelines calling the shots.
De Jesus has not coached the Lady Spikers since Game Two of Season 84. But he returned to the bench to open the second round against defending champion National University on Saturday.
Fittingly, De La Salle gifted De Jesus a triumphant comeback with a second sweep of National U in a span of four days, 26-24, 26-24, 25-16 for an 8-0 record.
“High respect to all the coaches, especially Coach Noel and Coach Ramil. Kaya sobrang malaking bagay siya, malaking impact siya sa team especially po sa akin,” said Canino on De Jesus.
The 5-foot-11 open spiker out of De La Salle-Zobel delivered 15 points for the Lady Spikers, including crucial hits in the first and second sets to close out the Lady Bulldogs.
It has been reported that De Jesus has not been active in games due to health reasons, but he’s often still present during practices.
“Yun nga dahil first ko po siya na nakasama sa loob, nakakagaan lang kasi nakikita na namin siya sa loob ng court.
“Dati sinusuportahan lang niya po kami. Pero ngayon inilaban niya yun at inilaban din po namin para sa kanya,” said the 19-year-old Canino.
Meanwhile, assistant coach Noel Orcullo, who stepped up to the plate, is also grateful to have De Jesus back. Orcullo has done a phenomenal job in his stint, leading La Salle to a first-round sweep, including close calls against University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University.
“Sobrang overwhelmed kasi nga nandiyan na siya. Yung lagi kong inaalala kapag maglalaro na, yung duda sa sarili kung kakayanin ko ba. Ngayon nandiyan siya, sobrang overwhelmed,” said Orcullo.
Asked when De Jesus will continue to call the shots for the rest of the tournament, Orcullo had no clue.
Up next for the Lady Spikers is Far Eastern University on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Hindi ko pa alam yung magiging setup namin, kung game-to-game or siya na talaga. Depende sa kanya,” said Orcullo.