Oliver Almadro resigns as Choco Mucho head coach to focus on Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines — Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro stepped down from his post in the middle of the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
Hours before their match against the winless United Auctioneers Inc.-Army at Smart Araneta Coliseum, the Flying Titans on Tuesday made a shocking announcement that they have accepted the resignation of Almadro to “focus his efforts on developing the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Program.”
Assistant coach Edjet Mabbayad calls the shots for the Flying Titans against the winless Lady Troopers as he tries to save his squad’s dimming semifinal chances with a 2-3 record.
“The Choco Mucho Flying Titans organization announces acceptance of the request of Head Coach, Oliver Almadro – “Coach O”, to step down from his post in CMFT. This decision was reached for him to focus his efforts on developing the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Program and will take effect immediately,” the team wrote. “In the interim, Assistant Coach Edjet Mabbayad will takeover as Head Coach.”
Choco Mucho’s five-set loss to Akari, propelled by Prisilla Rivera’s record-setting 44-point explosion, marked Almadro’s final game with the club.
Almadro, who will remain as the Rebisco Volleyball Program consultant, had a 23-27 record in his three years with Choco Mucho, which he led to back-to-back fourth place finishes in the last two Open Conference.
Their closest chance to reach the Finals was in last year’s PVL bubble, where they were one game away but lost the next two semifinal matches to Chery Tiggo.
JUST IN: Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro steps down as the Flying Titans’ head coach.
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) November 8, 2022
Almadro released a separate statement on his private Twitter account, saying he needs to focus on the Blue Eagles’ program and expressing his gratitude to his professional team.
“Being the head coach of Choco Mucho Flying Titans has become one of the greatest blessings and opportunities that I have received,” he wrote. “Though this may be abrupt and with heavy hearts, I have requested the Rebisco Management, that I will be allowed to step down as head coach of the Choco Mucho Flying Titans. This is to allow me to focus on my duties and responsibilities as head coach of the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Team.”
“I would also like to thank my players and coaching staff who became part of my growth as a professional volleyball coach. I am grateful to the fans who supported and prayed for me in my coaching stint with the Flying Titans. Last but not the least, I would like to thank my family who is always with me in my journey no matter what,” he added.
Ateneo reached the semifinal round of the V-League, facing University of the Philippines in a knockout game on Friday. The Blue Eagles bombed out in the Shakey’s Super League quarterfinals, losing to the De La Salle Lady Spikers in three sets last Sunday.
Almadro, who steered Ateneo to a UAAP championship in 2019, is eager to bounce back from a bronze finish in Season 84 last June.
Choco Mucho also expressed its gratitude for Almadro being the first head coach of its franchise and calling the shots for the team for three years.
“We thank Coach O for the invaluable contribution he brought to our team since it was formed in 2019. Coach O has embodied what Titan Pride is all about – the work ethic and passion for the sport. Rebisco Management has nothing but admiration for Coach O,” the team wrote. “And we are sincerely grateful for his trust, faith and courage throughout his tenure. To his family and wife Jen, maraming salamat for all the support and dedication through these years.”