Interim coach Noel Orcullo grateful to Ramil De Jesus back on La Salle bench
MANILA, Philippines — La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo was happy that Ramil De Jesus fulfilled his promise of joining him on the sidelines in the second round of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
Orcullo, who served on an interim basis and steered La Salle to a first-round sweep in the absence of the longtime head coach, was relieved to be reunited with De Jesus.
The 11-time UAAP champion coach made an immediate impact for the Lady Spikers in completing an elimination round sweep of the defending champion National University Bulldogs, 26-24, 26-24, 25-16, on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
“I’m so overwhelmed that he’s with us again. He removed my self-doubts every game, asking myself if can I do it [without him]?” said Orcullo, who has been a longtime deputy of De Jesus.
The Lady Spikers assistant coach shared that De Jesus was throwing jokes about not returning to the sidelines a night before the game.
“Last night, he was joking when the other coaches asked if [De Jesus] will be coming Coach Ramil told us, ‘ask Noel maybe he is still enjoying this’ but I told him, ‘no coach I need you,” Orcullo said in Filipino.
De Jesus called the shots again for the first time since last season’s Finals Game 2 on June 21, 2022 after his players, led by team captain Mars Alba, also convinced him to come back.
I was so happy. To think that Marionne kept on asking me if coach Ramil will come. I told her to convince coach Ramil to come tomorrow,” Orcullo said.
Orcullo said it will be De Jesus’ call if he will continue to call the shots for La Salle, which is unbeaten in eight games, for the remainder of the season or it will still be day-to-day.
“I still don’t know what will be our setup if it’s game-to-game or he will be coaching [for the rest of the season]. It depends on his call,” he said.
La Salle battles Far Eastern University on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
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