UAAP: Despite his absence, Ramil De Jesus’ presence still looms large in La Salle win over Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines—La Salle interim coach Noel Orcullo credited Ramil De Jesus’ guidance despite his absence to pull off their first rivalry victory without him for the first time in 25 seasons in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Even without their 11-time champion coach, the Lady Spikers asserted their mastery of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 25-16, 25-20, 25-13, to stay unbeaten in three games in Season 85 on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Orcullo, who is calling the shots for La Salle on an interim basis due to De Jesus’ undisclosed hiatus, was relieved to continue what his fellow coach started as they scored their 11-straight win against their archrivals.
“Ako naman, kinundisyon ko lang yung isip ko going into this game. Lagi lang naman ako pinapaalalahanan ni coach Ramil na kaya ko yan at andoon naman yung guidance niya every training eh. So, tiwala naman ako na magagawa ko naman, since may guidance naman si coach,” said Orcullo shortly after the victory.
(For me, I kept coach Ramil’s guidance in mind going into this game. He always tells me that I can do it and he’s always there for us in every training. So I trusted myself that I can pull it off with his guidance.)
Orcullo said they didn’t think of their win streak against Ateneo since 2017.
“We always tell the kids that we always have to be ready regardless we are facing Ateneo or whatever team. For us every game, we’re prepared. We’re not looking at our winning streak. All we want to do is play to win every time we enter the court,” said Orcullo in Filipino.
Despite being the lone unbeaten team in the league with a 3-0 record, Orcullo admitted he still feels the pressure.
“Every night, I think about our games and always tell myself to stay calm and that I can do it. I am trying to overcome the pressure,” said De Jesus’ longtime assistant coach.
Orcullo commended his team, led by rookie Angel Canino, for sticking to the game plan and shaking off the pressure.
But Orcullo said they still have to address their errors and take care of business when they face winless University of the East (0-3) at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We have to respect our opponents regardless of their standings. When we enter the court, we have to respect them and avoid complacency,” he said.