Almadro credits ‘heart, resiliency’ in Ateneo’s finals return: ‘Sometimes it’s not about stats’
MANILA, Philippines—Never count Ateneo out.
That was the message of Lady Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro after his team sent feisty Far Eastern University packing with a 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14 win for a spot in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals.
Ateneo, which had a twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four, recovered from its five-set loss to the Lady Tamaraws in a game which gave the Lady Eagles’ critics plenty to talk about.
But Almadro and his girls were not one to give up.
“Many people, expert people will count us out because of statistics, but sometimes it’s not about statistics, it’s about heart and resiliency,” said Almadro after the Lady Eagles sealed their entry to the finals.
“Most of the time they counted us out.”
On the contrary, Lady Eagles were actually the best team in terms of blocks, second-best in spikes, and the no. 5 team in service success.
Ateneo averaged a league-best 2.6 blocks per set after the eliminations and posted a 27.9 success rate in terms of spiking.
Despite the numbers to back up Ateneo’s performance, there is no shortage of doubters of one of the league’s most popular teams and the Lady Eagles are eager to prove them wrong.
“We’re here to prove to everybody that we’re capable of reaching the finals, as Maddie [Madayag] said when we get to the finals then it would be a different story,” said Almadro.
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