Preparation, not familiarity, key to Petro Gazz win over Choco Mucho–Almadro
MANILA, Philippines — Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro got the last laugh against his former team Choco Mucho Thursday, but he said he isn’t dwelling on the past and is simply focused on his own new squad.
Almadro chose to give full credit to his players for stunning the Flying Titans, under new coach Dante Alinsunurin, in straight sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21, for their first win in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
“The fans said they [Choco Mucho] have a new system so I don’t know what they’re doing. We just played our game, focus on what we have, our own skills and own character,” said Almadro in Filipino. “Whatever they put on us, we’re always ready.”
Almadro, who coached the Flying Titans when it joined the league in 2019 until he resigned in the middle of the Reinforced Conference last November to focus on Ateneo, insisted that his familiarity wasn’t the key to their win but his new players, led by Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.
“I don’t think that I knew their system. We just prepared for it. Because you prepare for every team, not just one. Choco is part of our journey. It’s one of the teams that we need to beat because it’s hard to fall to a 0-2 [record]. We really needed this win,” he said.
Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro after beating Choco Mucho: It's not about me, it's them [Angels]
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Thursday, February 9, 2023
In his first women’s game against former men’s volleyball rival coach Alinsunurin, Almadro’s Angels dominated the attacking 48-29 as setter Deanna Wong underperformed with only seven excellent sets out of 102 attempts.
Almadro said his main contribution to Petro Gazz was his motivational skills because his players already have the skills and character.
“We have to put up the character because everything is there and skills are there. I told them that they have to want it. Because in the end game, there has to be one who will step up and show her will to win,” Almadro said. “From our previous game, they waited for each other on who will deliver in the end. Today, they showed that as long as anyone is willing to step up. You have to want it, you will get it.”
Almadro praised the veteran Pontillas, who delivered 19 points and led by example to her teammates.
“One of the best. Nang is an idol. You won’t hear her talk but her actions speak for herself. She’s prepared, she’s ready,” he said. “And I have a goal for her, they should have a personal goal and it will round up to a team goal. I’m happy and thankful for Nang.”
After getting his first win as Petro Gazz coach, Almadro seeks to continue motivating his team when they continue their campaign against the winless Cignal (0-2) on February 18 at Philsports Arena.