In honor of someone the Lady Maroons consider as a mother, a sister, and a friend who passed away last week, the University of the Philippines Women’s Volleyball Team played inspired volleyball and picked up their first-ever straight-set win over the National University Lady Bulldogs.
Everyone from the UP team — including the coaching staff — had black bands wrapped around their left arms in memory of the late former Lady Maroon, and founder of their alumni association, Lourdes Guerrero.
Guerrero played for the Lady Maroons during the late 80’s up to the 90’s. But even though her playing years were over, she never stopped serving the team she once played for. Through the alumni association she built, she gathered support to spark the uprising of the volleyball program of State U.
One of the team’s veterans, Ayel Estranero, shared how the death of their Tita Lourdes served as an inspiration to perform well against the Lady Bulldogs.
The UPWVT mourn the loss of Lourdes Guerrero who joined our creator on 27 March 2018. She was a cornerstone in the team's support system and was there to take care of us when there was no one else. pic.twitter.com/U42mfOiXGR
— UPWVT (@OfficialUPWVT) March 28, 2018
“Tita Lourdes, the president of our alumni association passed away last week. She was in coma for two years. She was atcually the one who started the alumni association of the volleyball team,” shared Estranero, “When no one was actually there to support us, when no one actually wanted to support the team, Tita Lourdes really gave money from her own pocket to support us. For food, for scholarships and everything.”
“Our game today is really dedicated to her.”
Commissioner Noreen Go, who is a former Lady Maroon and part of the alumni association, expressed how Guerrero’s efforts became pivotal in the improvement of the Lady Maroons.
— Noreen tiu go (@Noreen8go) March 27, 2018
“She was the first person to believe in the team even when they were 0-14. She really believed that the team could be revived. So she started the association, started pulling us other alumni in,” Go shared.
“She really is the backbone of everything. She founded everything.
“Dati kung wala kaming sasakyan, kotse niya [ang gagamitin]. Kung walang driver, siya rin magda-drive. Hindi lang siya sponsor, she was like a mother to us, a sister, a friend, Tita Lourdes was everything to us,” Estranero confessed.
Unfortunately, younger batches of Lady Maroons from the past two years were not able to get to know her, as she succumbed to sickness and remained in coma for two years. She passed away on March 27, 2018.
Nonetheless, the team assures that her memory and legacy in UP volleyball will live on.
The Lady Maroons are grieving their loss in Guerrero. But today, they honored her with not only just a victory, but a dominant and commanding one.