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(C) Neo Garcia/UAAP Season 86 Media Team


Sacrifice, Love, Respect: The star-studded UST coaching staff’s dedication

Sacrifice is a key ingredient to success especially in sports.

That’s what Premier Volleyball League head coaches Shaq Delos Santos and Lerma Giron have been doing ever since they took on the role as assistant coach to Kungfu Reyes’ University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses.

Both have tasted success as chief tacticians of their teams in the past and the present.

Delos Santos, the current head coach of Cignal, was the architect of UST’s last title in women’s volleyball, leading them to the UAAP Season 72 title back in 2010. He also gave Petron four titles in the defunct Philippine Superliga.

Giron, the current tactician of Galeries Tower, led the Adamson Lady Falcons to the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference championship before transitioning to the pros.

Despite the success they’ve earned and collected throughout the years, they slid down to the position of an assistant coach for the Golden Tigresses.

“Kami as assistant coaches, trabaho namin suportahan yung head coach. Naniniwala kami doon sa programa, sa sistema lalo na kay Coach Kungfu naniniwala kami kaya support kami sa kanya all the way,” said Giron, who has been with UST since Season 85.

“Nakamindset naman ako sa role ko bilang assistant coach na sundin yung sistema at the same time mamaximize din kung anong meron ako para mashare din doon sa mga bata,” said Delos Santos, who just joined the team’s staff this ongoing Season 86.

As of this Holy Week break, UST sits alone atop the team standings with an 8-1 record after an impressive 8-0 start before National University ended the dream run last Sunday, March 24.

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UAAP85-WVB-KUNGFU-REYES-2221 Sacrifice, Love, Respect: The star-studded UST coaching staff’s dedication News UAAP UST Volleyball  - philippine sports newsFor head coach Kungfu Reyes, having to work with Delos Santos and Giron as assistants is not difficult due to their love for the game and for one another.

Their ties went way back with Reyes and Giron being classmates in UST in the 90s while Delos Santos was also his teammate back then in some leagues.

“Professional naman kaming lahat. Ngayon bonus na sa amin na mas maging malalim yung pagkakaibigan, those things ang malalim na foundation namin,” said the Chery Tiggo head coach.

“Matagal na kami magkakasama sa industry, naging teammate ko rin si Coach Shaq, si Coach Lerma naman batchmate ko sa UST naging classmate ko rin,” he continued.

“Alam namin na nandito kaming lahat para tulungan si UST at ang mga bata.”

As assistants, Giron and Delos Santos were assigned to help improve specific positions with the former focusing on liberos and the latter checking in on the middle blockers.

They were willing to come down to that position because of their passion for the sport and for developing young talents.

With the outstanding performance of the Golden Tigresses, who only have Pierre Abellana as the lone senior, Delos Santos said that this team will reach far because of the dedication they have.

“Sabi nga namin naging advanced din yung naging performance. Wala naman nagexpect talaga na pagpasok ng UAAP bulusok agad kami ng ganon pero dahil pinaghirapan, pinaghandaan, and nagcommit lahat ng coaches and players I think yun yung naging result,” said Delos Santos.

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For Giron, this league-leading record was just a testament to the hard work that the players are always exhibiting during training.

“Natutuwa ako kasi kahit pinaghalong first year, second year, third year majority puro bata pero yung work ethics nila hindi mo masasabing rookie, hindi mo masasabing mga baguhan,” said Giron as UST has six rookies, three sophomores, and five juniors.

“Yung values malalim yung pinagkukuhanan nila and natutuwa ako na nasasanay sila na ganon, what more pa pag tumagal pa at naging consistent sila sa ganong work values.”


UAAP-86-UST-Lerma-Giron-x-Shaq-delos-Santos-1 Sacrifice, Love, Respect: The star-studded UST coaching staff’s dedication News UAAP UST Volleyball  - philippine sports newsBut what keeps this well-rounded UST coaching staff full of head coaches working is respect for one another.

Although they are worthy head coaches in their own rights, Giron and Delos Santos continue to buy into Reyes’ system because of respect.

And it was also the same for Reyes, who does not really treat his staff as assistants but instead, treats them as puzzle pieces needed to make the entire team running seamlessly.

“Naka same page naman kami, it’s not about the hierarchy or what. Yung expertise naman nila yung tinatrabaho nila dito that’s why nandito sila sa amin. It’s a matter of accepting the task, not the position,” said the long-time UST head coach.

“Hindi namin pinaguusapan yung position, importante yung role na gagampanan. Madali na kasi lahat ng aspeto natatouch namin. Volleyball skills, experience, wisdom, knowledge yun ang naibibigay namin eh.”

Delos Santos also needed something like this to go back to where it all started for his coaching career and feel what his assistants feel when he was the one heading the carriage.

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Before being a head coach, he was also a trainer and assistant coach in various teams.

“Happy ako sa role ko ngayon kasi doon naman ako nagsimula as trainer, assistant coach, and then naging head coach,” said Delos Santos.

“Good side nito ay nafifeel ko ulit yung pakiramdam na nasa bench, yung pakiramdam ng mga assistant coaches and then kapag ako naman yung head coach. I think may plus factor siya sa akin na ano yung feeling, ano yung dapat ko maging act kapag assistant ako at pag head. Nakakarefresh, iba rin yung feeling non,” he added.

While for Giron, it was a no-brainer to come back to UST after she left Adamson. After all, this is just a homecoming of sorts.

“Oo wala naman problema sa akin kahit anong posisyon yan, kahit nga water girl okay sa akin basta pagseserbisyohan natin ang UST,” said Giron.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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