Since starting in 1997, Ramil De Jesus has brought unprecedented success to the De La Salle University Lady Spikers.
In his first 19 years, La Salle won nine UAAP championships and made the Finals 16 times.
Now, after the Lady Spikers swept the University of the East Lady Warriors for their sixth win of UAAP Season 79, Ramil De Jesus has coached 300 games for La Salle with a total winning record of 237-63.
Now in his 20th year, and having officially become one of the longest-tenured coaches in UAAP history, it’s still business as usual for the grizzled mentor.
His 300th match was another routine La Salle thrashing — a 25-18, 25-14, 25-16 triumph of the lowly Lady Warriors. For much of his career, the Lady Spikers have ritually dominated the other UAAP programs, so it was only fitting that his milestone of a match came in another quick decision.
La Salle’s current ace Kianna Dy led all scorers with 12 points, while sophomore Tin Tiamzon added 11. Kim Fajardo, De Jesus’ team captain and most relied-on player, tossed 41 excellent sets compared to 24 of the entire UE team.
For a coach still with championship ambitions, De Jesus is already looking ahead to the further improvement of his current batch of Lady Spikers. He initially did not even know that he had been coaching his 300th match until reporters informed him.
“Actually, hindi nga ako aware until sinabi niya. So, achievement siya pero, siyempre, hindi naman ‘yun ang goal para sa team. Very thankful pa rin ako kasi malaking blessing pa siya,” De Jesus said.
At 5-1, La Salle are in the midst of a tough title defense. On Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, they face rivals Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles, their opponents in the past five Finals series. This season is a new page on the rivalry as key players from both sides have graduated.
“Nandoon pa rin ‘yung mga setter namin so basta nandoon ‘yung setter hindi naman nagbabago ang takbo ng team,” De Jesus thought.
Above everything, De Jesus still has winning on his mind. One does not just last 20 years with an institution without being brilliant.
DLSU (3) – Dy 12, Tiammzon 11, Baron 8, Ogunsanya 7, Cheng 6, Fajardo 2, Luna 2, Conb 0, Macandili (L)
UE (0) – Mendrez 9, Abil 8, Adorador 4, Alcayde 3, Baliton 2, Catindig 1, Dacaymat 1, Olarve 0, Rodriguez 0, Arado (L)
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