When the Ateneo Lady Eagles took on the Letran Lady Knights on the opening day of the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, Oliver Almadro was feeling a little nostalgic.
After all, the head coach of the Lady Eagles is a proud Letranite.
“Of course, seeing the red and blue – nakaka-goosebumps kasi product ako ng Letran, and I’m really proud of it,” said Almadro, following his Lady Eagles’ four-set triumph against the Lady Knights.
“I’m a real proud Letranista.”
Almadro has established himself as one of the most successful coaches in the Philippine volleyball landscape.
The Ateneo tactician cemented his legacy by winning multiple championships in the UAAP Men’s and Women’s Volleyball tournament. He also secured a rare triple crown in the Spikers’ Turf.
And for all his achievements, he is grateful to the institution that taught him how to work hard and be resilient – Letran.
“Letran taught me resiliency, taught me hard work; taught me na hindi kinakailangang nasa taas to achieve,” shared Almadro, who graduated with a degree in BS Management back in 1999.
“They are one of the reasons kung nasaan ako ngayon, so I’m really happy to see them sa kabilang side. And hopefully, to see them in the championship sa NCAA. I’m proud to be a Letranite. I’m proud to be a Dominican product,” he continued.
“So thank you sa Letran for who am I now kasi talagang without yung naituro sa akin na resiliency, hard work ng Letran, I will not be here.”
Almadro started his volleyball career as a playmaker for the Knights. The multi-titled mentor could not crack the line-up in his early years, though. But just as he was about to suit up, Almadro fell ill, forcing him to miss the NCAA season.
Following his streak of bad luck, he started pitching ideas to the team’s coaching staff, which included Ramil De Jesus. Then when De Jesus finally got the call to lead the De La Salle University Lady Spikers, he brought Almadro with him.
From that moment on, Almadro embraced his calling as a coach.
Now, as he finds himself on the other side of the net, Almadro expressed his willingness to lend a helping hand to his former coach Mike Inoferio and the whole Letran volleyball program.
“Ateneo had a hard time beating Letran today, so I guess if I can be an instrument to the Letran community, to the Letran team, my team will always be there to support. And I will always be there to support the Letran volleyball team,” said Almadro.
“Though nung araw hindi naman ako masyadong naline-up, ‘di kasi ako ganon kagaling maglaro. But I’m really proud that I’m a part of the Letran sports.”
Seeing the Lady Knights eke out a set against the Lady Eagles, Almadro believes that there will only be good things to come for his Alma Mater.
“Sila coach Mike [Inoferio] at coach Ronald [Dulay], they are one of the reasons why kung nasaan ako ngayon,” he claimed.
“I’m really happy to see them sa kabilang side. I’m hoping to see them sa championship one day.”
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