When Oliver Almadro resigned as Choco Mucho’s head coach in the middle of the Reinforced Conference last year, the Flying Titans said in an official statement that it was ‘for him to focus his efforts on developing the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Program.’
So, when news broke that Almadro signed with Petro Gazz for the 2023 Premier Volleyball League season, questions regarding his departure from the Rebisco-backed squad started to arise.
And on Saturday night, the newly-installed Angels head coach finally addressed the situation.
“Lagi na lang tanong sakin ‘yan. Hindi lang naman ako ang coach na coach ng UAAP at coach ng PVL or Spikers’ Turf [teams]. Lagi akong kinekwestyon diyan,” said Almadro following Petro Gazz’s straight-set loss at the hands of defending champion Creamline at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Almadro made it known that the Blue Eagles management gave him their blessing before he signed with Petro Gazz. He also shared that the school is ‘very happy’ that he got another coaching job.
The multi-titled coach also noted that he has been juggling two coaching jobs ever since he was with the school’s men’s volleyball team. Almadro was coaching Cignal in the Spikers’ Turf at the time.
“Ateneo is very happy that I got another job and for the record wala akong problema sa Ateneo. Ateneo is supporting me ever since I was with the men’s team, ‘di ba,” said Almadro.
“Men’s team pa ako nagco-coach na ako ng Cignal. Sabay din ‘yon. Nasa ibang team ako nagco-coach na ako [ng ibang teams] sabay rin ‘yon. I don’t have any problem with Ateneo and Ateneo is supporting me whatever I do,” he added.
For his part, Almadro said that he accepted the Angels’ offer because of two things: to secure his family’s future and further share his volleyball knowledge.
“It’s because of course, we have to secure our family, our finances, ‘di ba? Isa rin ‘yon. Isang point. Pangalawa, kailangan i-share natin yung talent natin, yung wisdom natin sa iba and ang maganda rito Petro Gazz welcomes that very well, Ateneo welcomes that very well, so [we’re] working together now. So maganda ang samahan namin, Petro Gazz and Ateneo [are] really, really happy for me,” said Almadro, who led the Blue Eagles to the Season 81 title.
“I don’t have any problems with Ateneo and that’s for the record kasi ‘yan ang laging question e. So talagang Ateneo supports me, Petro Gazz is supporting me so ‘di ba? What more can you ask for from those two organizations, institutions that really want to help me grow also as a mentor and as a teacher,” he continued.
Almadro said it saddens him that people are questioning how he will handle both teams when he has been doing it for a long time. He also pointed out that he is not the only volleyball coach handling two different teams.
“It’s just so sad na people are always asking kung paano yung time, paano yung time, paano yung time. Well, I’m not the only person that has two jobs.
“We have to secure our family and I’m not the only coach that’s coaching a professional team and a collegiate team in volleyball ha? Sa basketball kasi iba yun e, mahirap sa basketball pero in volleyball, marami,” said Almadro.
Aside from the former Letran setter, there are also five other coaches in the PVL who handle both a professional team and a collegiate or, in Akari head coach Jorge Souza de Brito’s case, the Philippine women’s national volleyball team.
The rest are Choco Mucho’s Dante Alinsunurin (NU men’s), Shaq Delos Santos of Cignal (UP women’s), Creamline’s Sherwin Meneses (Arellano men’s), and Rald Ricafort of PLDT (UP men’s).
Meanwhile, Chery Tiggo head coach Aaron Velez serves as an assistant for the De La Salle University men’s volleyball team while Army-Black Mamba chief tactician Randy Fallorina is part of the Troopers’ coaching staff in the Spikers’ Turf.
“Isa isahin natin? Marami. Ayoko na mag-name names. I don’t want to name schools, I don’t want to name clubs but hindi lang ako ang coach na nagcocoach ng college team at professional team. Yung mga [ibang] teams din, ‘di ba?
“Yung pinanggalingan ko nga ganun din. So I’m happy with Ateneo and they’re happy for me. I’m happy with Petro Gazz and they’re supporting me so that’s for the record,” he added.
The four-time UAAP champion coach expressed his utmost gratitude to the Petro Gazz management and players for accepting him. He said that he is looking forward to helping the Angels achieve their goal and continue growing with them throughout the season.
“Ang maganda sa team they are mature girls, mature person. They work hard a lot kumbaga nagugulat na lang ako ohh meron pa pala kayong extra na ganyan. I can’t ask for people that are down to earth and willing to work hard and willing to play and sacrifice,” said Almadro.
“The Petro Gazz Angels are like that so I’m happy that they accepted me well and I’m happy that I’m here. They’re helping me grow and we will help each other grow. Masaya masaya sa dugout masaya, sa practice masaya. They are hardworking girls believe me.”