Title conquest puts spotlight on Arellano, mourning coach
Arellano coach Obet Javier believes that his wife, Amy, gave him one last Valentine’s gift Tuesday.
“I know that she was with us every step of the way,” said Javier of his wife, who passed away two weeks ago in Spain where she was working. “I told her to help guide us.”
Finals MVP Jovielyn Prado said they dedicated the triumph to their coach, who displayed remarkable emotional toughness.
“We didn’t know he was going through something,” said Prado, who hails from Camarines Norte. “So when we finally learned of it, that became our battle cry.”
Arellano beat erstwhile undefeated and thrice-to-beat holder San Sebastian in the NCAA women’s final Tuesday.
Arellano won its first title in 2015 but this time, the Lady Chiefs are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Already, corporate sponsors are reportedly expressing interest to support Arellano in the Philippine Superliga, joining the ranks of top-rated school teams like La Salle.
Four of its players are also being eyed by several teams like Foton, which is doing a major rebuilding for the season.
“This is a huge thing for us,” said Javier, who is also reportedly being sought by new PSL teams, including Cocolife.
“We worked very hard for this. In the eliminations, San Sebastian beat us and we vowed not to let it happen again.”
Like St. Benilde did last season, Arellano extinguished all of San Sebastian’s advantages to nail the championship, dropping its first match of the season before winning the last 12 games en route to the title.