Oliver Almadro says Ateneo ‘very happy’ with double duty as Petro Gazz coach
MANILA, Philippines — Petro Gazz’s new coach Oliver Almadro insisted he has Ateneo’s support despite also calling the shots for the Angels in the ongoing Premier Volleyball League season which will coincide with the upcoming UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament which begins February 25.
Almadro, who resigned as Choco Mucho coach in the middle of the Reinforced Conference with the team stating he wants “to focus his efforts on developing the Ateneo women’s volleyball program,” took a lot of flak on social media when he transferred to Petro Gazz ahead of the 2023 All-Filipino Conference.
When asked about how he manages his time coaching the Angels and Blue Eagles, Almadro lamented that he’s tired of hearing that question, stressing that he’s not the only PVL coach who handles multiple teams.
“I’m not the only coach coaching both in the UAAP and PVL or Spikers’ Turf. People keep asking me that question. I don’t have anything wrong with Ateneo. Ateneo is very happy that I got another job and for the record, I don’t have a problem Ateneo,” said Almadro after Petro Gazz’s 18-25, 20-25, 22-25 loss to Creamline on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The veteran coach, who also had a double duty when he was still coaching the Ateneo men’s program and Cignal in Spikers’ Turf, said he accepted the job offered by Petro Gazz to support his family and share his knowledge with the Angels.
“Of course, we have to secure our family, our finances. That’s one point. Second, we need to share our talent and wisdom to others,” Almadro said. “Petro Gazz welcomes that very well. Ateneo welcomes that very well. So we’re working together now. We have a good relationship. Petro Gazz and Ateneo are really, really happy for me.”
“What can you ask more from those two organizations, those two institutions that really want to help me grow also as a mentor and as a teacher. It’s just so sad that people are always asking how will I manage my time. Well, I’m not the only person that has two jobs. We have to secure our family,” he added.
Almadro, who steered the Ateneo to a UAAP Season 81 title in 2019, said he won’t have any problem coaching both teams when the collegiate league unfolds.
“I’m not the only coach that coaches a professional team and a collegiate team. I don’t want to name names. I don’t want to name schools. I don’t have to name clubs. But I’m not the only coach for both college team and professional team,” he said. “Yung mga [ibang] teams din. Yung pinanggalingan [Choco Mucho] ko nga, ganon din. (Other teams and even my former team, too.) I’m happy with Ateneo and they’re happy for me. I’m happy with Petro Gazz and they’re supporting me.”
For now, Almadro is focusing on addressing their late-game lapses against Creamline after putting up a gallant stand in the last two sets.
“In the second and third, I guess we started it right, we just didn’t finish it strong. We couldn’t maximize our advantages,” the new Petro Gazz said. “We just have to finish it strong have that attitude and grit to finish sets and end it right. I told my players a while ago that we faced a strong Creamline right away. I guess it’s a blessing of fire for me again and my team. So going to the next games I guess we’ll be okay.”
MJ Phillips, the reigning Reinforced Conference best middle blocker, sat out due to a shoulder injury.
Almadro said Phillips is doing well but “they don’t want to rush her minor injury that only needs more strengthening.”
Almadro is just happy to be part of the Angels, who are mature and hardworking.
“They are mature girls. They work hard a lot. I can’t ask for [more]. They are people that are down to earth and willing to work hard and willing to play and sacrifice. I’m happy that they accepted me well and I’m happy that I’m here,” he said. “They’re helping me grow and we will help each other grow.“
Almadro will have an interesting second game as Petro Gazz tries to bounce back against his former team Choco Mucho on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
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