UAAP: Oliver Almadro looks to solve Ateneo slow starts during Holy Week break | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Oliver Almadro looks to solve Ateneo slow starts during Holy Week break

/ 05:42 PM April 05, 2023

Ateneo Blue Eagles coach Oliver Almadro. –UAAP PHOTO

Ateneo Blue Eagles coach Oliver Almadro. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Starting out slow has been Ateneo’s problem all season long and coach Oliver Almadro has that to fix during the Holy Week break.

That same problem came back to haunt the Blue Eagles in their sweeping loss against Adamson, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24, at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

“We tend to start slow every set and we manage to cope up towards the end but sometimes it’s too late and we have to acknowledge that,” Almadro said.

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“Earlier, we were down by six or seven points but they wanted it [to win] so they managed to come back. Of course, there are matters where it’s just not enough until the end.”

If anything, though, Almadro saw a huge leap in how Ateneo handles its slow start from the first round compared to the current.

The Blue Eagles’ mentality at first was looking far ahead, while in the second round they were “playing not to lose,” something Almadro lauded despite the loss.

“Earlier was the first time I’ve seen them go inside the court without looking worried. I can sense the positivity there and I can sense that they will just play hard. That’s much scarier right? Playing a team who’s playing not to lose?” the top coach said.

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‘NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE’

Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP Season 85

Ateneo Blue Eagles. UAAP PHOTO

Following the trend of looking at the team’s silver lining, Almadro said it is still not impossible for the team to reach the highest highs of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament, including a Final Four appearance.

Statistically, the head tactician was right but it will take a lot of effort and luck for the Blue Eagles to reach the playoffs, currently holding a 3-6 win-loss record.

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“Nothing’s impossible, we have to keep our faith, keep working hard, acknowledge our mistakes and move forward. We have to be at our best. Whatever happens now, we’ll move on and wherever our will brings us, we will accept it.”

Ateneo returns to action on April 12, Wednesday, at San Juan Arena when it faces University of the Philippines.

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Oliver Almadro, UAAP Season 85

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