While the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles may not have finished the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference ideally, head coach Oliver Almadro still has a positive perspective.
The Lady Eagles have lost two of their last three matches, including a four-set loss to the Petro Gazz Angels, Saturday evening.
Still, Ateneo-Motolite have already clinched a seat in the semis, a fact which Almadro focused on.
“I’m not that furious with my team. Yes, every game is important, but we’re trying kasi some things this week. So ‘yung focus namin is preparing some things. ‘Yung game ngayon, siguro hindi namin na-maintain ‘yung consistency namin ng first set,” Almadro reflected after the loss.
“Importante sa Petro Gazz ‘yung game so advantage sa kanila ‘yun. We really have to be consistent pa. I know we’re inconsistent today because of so many things.”
As it turns out, some of the Lady Eagles’ seniors came from a school activity before the match. These types of situations are to their advantage, in Almadro’s view, as stress levels are either similar or much higher in the UAAP.
“But we have to cope with that kind of situation kasi it will happen sa UAAP na may ganoong stress with school commitments,” shared the four-time UAAP Men’s Volleyball champion coach. “It’s hard for us as student-athletes, but have to try our best to be consistent. Alam naman ng players ‘yung pagkakamali nila. Everyone knows their role. It’s a long way to go before UAAP, but we’re learning.
“I know everyone will say na tough loss for us, but being in the semifinals in already great for us, for now. Hindi pa naman tapos ito.”
With a 10-4 record, Ateneo can now sit back and wait for the elimination round to end for the rest of the field to determine their match-up in the best-of-three semis.
As this is his first tournament as Ateneo head coach, Almadro is already happy with getting to the semis. Now, the Lady Eagles have to continue learning and improving in high-pressured situations.
“I told my players na we will play until the end no matter what happens, Championship or third place,” shared the PVL triple crown champion mentor. “Madagdagan ka ng ganoong games sa tough clubs sa Philippines, well, it’s a privilege for us. We skipped nga Collegiate [Conference] for this para dito kami mabugbog. I hope na matuto pa rin kami – we will really learn from tough losses like this.
“We have to stand firm in our faith. We have to stand firm in what we want to achieve.”