Almadro reminds Blue Eagles to shrug off hecklers
Ateneo expected a tough fight against National University in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 79 men’s volleyball Finals on Tuesday.
What Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro didn’t expect was his team dealing with a heckler, who tried to get under the Blue Eagles’ skin.
The Blue Eagles were bugged all-game long by a relentless Bulldog fan, who kept talking trash.
Senior Josh Villanueva even exchanged words with the heckler in the first set.
Almadro reminded his wards to keep their focus on the game and not mind the unnecessary noise.
“We know that these things can happen because they want to distract us. We have no problem with that. Even before when Josh and Ish (Polvorosa) were rookies, FEU has been doing that to us. Guys like Berlin (Paglinawan) and Peter (Torres) has been doing that before. It’s nothing new,” he said.
“What I’m telling my players is to manage it. You are an Atenean so you don’t stoop down to their level,” he said.
The veteran mentor noted the best way to silence haters is through winning, which Ateneo did with a tough 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13 five-set victory over NU to inch closer to its dream three-peat.
“What’s important here is our goal,” said Almadro. “If you win, they might bash you, but you still won. So who won? It’s not them but my players. I’m teaching my players not to be rude and not to retaliate to things like that.”
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