NU coach Norman Miguel finishes what he started with UAAP title

NU coach Norman Miguel finishes what he started with UAAP title

/ 04:55 PM May 18, 2024

NU Lady Bulldogs coach Norman Miguel UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball Finals

NU Lady Bulldogs coach Norman Miguel during Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Finals against the UST Tigresses.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — After reprising his coaching role at National University, Norman Miguel finished his story by winning his first UAAP title with the Lady Bulldogs at the expense of University of Santo Tomas, where his career started. 

Miguel had a full circle moment after NU completed its title redemption bid in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament following a final series sweep of UST, where he was once an assistant coach 14 years ago in Season 72 when the school last won its championship.

After the Lady Bulldogs took down the Tigresses in four sets in Game 2 on Wednesday in front of a roaring 22,515 crowd at Mall of Asia Arena, the newly-crowned NU champion coach approached UST legendary tactician and his mentor August Sta. Maria to express his gratitude and respect.

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“I’m so happy because this is my first-ever UAAP championship title but the gratitude is still there. I approached Boss August to offer this championship,” Miguel said. “I’m so grateful to boss August for being one of my mentors.”

Miguel’s deputy, Karl Dimaculangan, a former champion setter and MVP of the UST men’s team during his playing years in the UAAP, won his second championship in three seasons, this time, with a new role after the former returned as head coach last year.

READ: UAAP: NU coach Norman Miguel always grateful for UST stint

Miguel deflected the credit to all his hardworking players, led by the MVP duo of Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon, but he also praised UST for putting up a hell of a finals series.

READ: NU coach Norman Miguel says Karl Dimaculangan part of coaching staff

“UST was amazing from Game 1 up to the last game. They are so impressive and you can see that they really want to win the championship. UST made it hard for us,” he said.

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Miguel took the coaching reins of NU in 2019 when it was rebuilding with rookies Cess Robles, Ivy Lacsina, and Jennifer Nierva. The following season, the Lady Bulldogs had a 2-0 start in Season 82 but the COVID-19 pandemic happened, forcing the cancelation of the 2020 season that also led to Miguel stepping down from his post.

He found his way back last year and won the Shakey’s Super League preseason against UST and also served as assistant coach to Jorge Souza De Brito with the core of NU representing the Philippine women’s volleyball team.

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“It wasn’t easy. When I was asked to come back for this season, I was firm with my decision to accept it and return to the team because I know I can help them reclaim the title. “But the journey wasn’t easy. I know the pressure is always there but along the way, I experienced how to be more mature and handle the pressure and goal. It was hard, which makes this success sweeter.”

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TAGS: NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86 volleyball

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