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No miracles but Rod Roque steers UE to surprise win

Rod Roque knew it right when it happened: he was not going to be the University of the East Lady Warriors’ savior.

At least not right away.

Already serving as UE’s athletic director and UAAP board member, Roque stepped in when Francis Vicente quit in the middle of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.

Vicente left the Lady Warriors in the midst of a 13-game losing streak. In four seasons, Vicente resigned with a 2-45 record in tge UAAP.

“Well kasi noong management asked me to take over, I said that a miracle doesn’t happen overnight.

“Sabi ko I’ll try my very best, unti-unti lang. Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi natin pipilitin na maging Final Four kaagad. From eighth place, pipilitin natin umangat nang unti-unti,” Roque recalled telling the UE stakeholders.

While he hasn’t yet mustered a miracle, Roque did lead the Lady Warriors to their first win this season, shocking the Adamson Lady Falcons in five sets.

After a humiliating run over the last four years, Roque’s stern and active voice might be the kick the Lady Warriors need to revive their program.UAAP-80-VolleybalL-ADMU-vs.-UE-Adorador-1932 No miracles but Rod Roque steers UE to surprise win News UAAP UE Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Sabi ko importante, manalo tayo muna. One goal at a time.

“Kaya ngayon na nanalo na, may panalo na, nag-umpisa na kami. So siguro next step na kami and move forward,” he added.

The players have been very receptive of Roque’s style. Graduating open hitter Shaya Adorador, who scored seven points in the fifth set of their win over the Lady Falcons, apprecieated all the guidance Roque has offered in a short span of time.

“Kasi yung sa preparation namin, dami nagbago sa training, pinahirapan din kami tapos kailangan namin magdouble time sa loob ng court kasi Adamson yan eh.

“Nag-improve talaga sila basta yung inspiration ko nalang is yung family namin laging nanonood. Yung time nila para lang ispend yung isang buong araw para lang manood kami panalo man o talo. Pati sa mga coaches ko, kay Sir Roque,” shared the 21-year-old skipper of the Lady Warriors.

#ReadMore  Mike Harris laments: 'Tonight wasn't my night'

UE’s defensive ace Kath Arado echoed Adorador’s sentiments.UAAP-80-Volleyball-FEU-vs.-UE-Arado-5481 No miracles but Rod Roque steers UE to surprise win News UAAP UE Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Sa sinabi ni Ate Shaya, unang una palang, noong pumalit nag-enter si Sir (Roque) sa amin sobrang malaking pagbabago.

“Mahirap, pero andun pa rin kasi yung will namin para maglaro nang maayos tapos dinagdagan pa ni Sir ng ‘hindi lang good, dapat win talaga’ so yun talaga yung tumatak sa akin,” added the reigning Best Digger.

Roque’s adjustment was simple: he just started scouting his foes.

“Actually yung CDs nila since game one, naipon dito sa laro. Tapos ‘yung first day na dumating dito, kinukulang yung CDs. Kung anuman pinaractice namin noong saturday, pinili namin yung Adamson CD. Pinanood nila, tapos the more nag-ensayo kami, tinanong namin. Kaninang umaga, ano yung comment nila sa CD: ‘Sir ganito lang yung palo niya, ito yung posisiyon nila’,” Roque disclosed.

“Scinout nila yung game ng Adamson. So nakatulong yan na factor na nakita nila yung galawan.”

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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