Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro is hopeful that his knack for persuasion will be more than enough to get Jhoana Maraguinot back into the Lady Eagles’ nest for the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
“Of course, everybody has an extra effort [to convince her]… Well, I’ve been always telling Jho na if she wants to help, she will always be welcome,” Almadro told reporters on Sunday following Ateneo’s Game One victory against the UST Golden Tigresses.
“And sabi ko nga, talent is not important. What’s important is the presence.”
In retrospect, Almadro — who steered the Lady Eagles back to the throne in his first year at the helm — also convinced Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag to exhaust their final year of eligibility. It resulted in a title for the two, and a UAAP Finals MVP plum for the former.
Just as Almadro persuaded De Leon and Madayag, the multi-titled mentor has pitched to Maraguinot that her presence as a veteran will help the youthful Lady Eagles in their title-retention bid in the collegiate scene.
“Like what I’ve said to Maddie, to Bea last year: ‘Your presence will be much important to the team because you’re an Ate, because you still got some talent to share,” Almadro stated.
“Kung gusto mo bumalik, kung gusto mo to share, to give back and go back to your school, to your alma mater, you’re always welcome.’”
Maraguinot has expressed her desire to spread her wings as a Lady Eagle for one last time, saying that she’s not closing her doors if given the chance.
Still, Almadro made it known that he wants Maraguinot to thoroughly think about her decision. He also prays for her wholehearted resolve.
“Decision niya, but I just have to pray for it, pray for proper discernment,” confided Almadro. “Sabi ko nga, ‘Give back and go back.’ Yun ang pinaka-importante to continue the legacy na iniwanan ng mga seniors niya.
“I’m looking forward, and I’m praying for it na she discerns well and decide na tumulong ulit.”
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