UST coach gets the better of La Salle ‘living legend’ when it mattered most
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas head coach Kung Fu Reyes is on the losing end of his head-to-head matchup with De La Salle’s Ramil De Jesus, winning just twice in their eight encounters so far
Reyes owns a dismal 2-6 record in the elimination round against the 11-time UAAP champion coach.
And though it may appear that De Jesus has Reyes’ number, Reyes has gotten the better of the duel recently with two straight wins in just a span of five days.
Not to mention, Reyes’ recent pair of victories came at the most opportune time.
The Golden Tigresses stunned La Salle in the playoff for No.2 on Wednesday then, followed it up with a heart-stopping five-setter in the Final Four, 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, to advance to their first finals trip in eight years.
Reyes, who played in the UAAP during the early 2000s, said it was an unreal experience for him when De Jesus wished him luck for his first finals appearance as a head coach.
“It’s an amazing feeling when coach Ramil wished me luck earlier, it was surreal,” said Reyes in Filipino Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena. “It’s just now that everything’s sinking in, I even wanted to embrace him.”
“I’ve learned so much from coach Ramil when we faced each other and it’s a big thing for me that the champion coach is the one wishing me luck for the finals.”
De Jesus, who went 1-1 with Reyes in the elimination round this season, said he saw a different version of the Golden Tigresses from the one the Lady Spikers faced during the preliminaries.
“The way UST played today was vastly different during the eliminations,” said De Jesus. “Almost everyone from that team matured, especially the rookies, because they’re not just hitting the ball for the sake of hitting it but they were actually technical with their approach.”
As for Reyes, receiving praise from De Jesus was enough motivation for him moving forward.
De Jesus have been calling the shots for the Lady Spikers since 1998 way before Reyes got into the collegiate volleyball program of UST.
“Coach Ramil is a living legend in Philippine volleyball,” said Reyes.
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