Clemente ecstatic to play for veteran coach Ramil de Jesus
Lourdes Clemente | JM Mendoza
MANILA, Philippines — Lourdes Clemente couldn’t wait to play for F2 Logistics head coach Ramil de Jesus when the PSL Grand Prix fires off on February 17.
Arguably the best middle blocker in the NCAA today, the 6-foot-2 Clemente formally confirmed Philstar.com’s earlier report that she is set to don the Cargo Movers’ jersey in the import-flavored conference.
She said she’s thrilled to play next to the league’s brightest stars like Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Kim Fajardo, Kennedy Bryan of the US and reigning Most Valuable Player Jose Maria Perez of Venezuela.
But more than anything else, she’s looking forward to learn the system of de Jesus.
Clemente and de Jesus go a long, long way back.
De Jesus, in fact, reportedly wanted to recruit Clemente for De La Salle University in the UAAP.
Unfortunately, the Lady Spikers were already loaded with middle blockers and de Jesus couldn’t offer a scholarship for the wiry kid from Bulacan.
She packed her bags and found herself playing for another legendary mentor in Sammy Acaylar at University of Perpetual Help Dalta System, the school where she blossomed into a solid force at the middle.
But now, the partnership between Clemente and de Jesus would finally be realized.
“It’s my first time to play for him so I promise to go all out in training and actual games,” said Clemente, adding that the depth and strength of the Cargo Movers definitely overwhelm her.
“It’s really a great feeling to be with the players whom I enjoy watching before. I know that I will learn a lot from them, especially from the veterans.”
She added that she would report for training with no pressure at all as some of them had been her teammates before at the national team that saw action in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship in China in 2015 and the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Kazakhstan last year.
“There’s no pressure for me because I already played with some of them at the national team,” she said. “So with that, I will just focus on adopting the system of coach Ramil and adjusting to their plays.”
But before formally joining the Cargo Movers, Clemente has to lead the Lady Altas back to the title of the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.
Winning the crown is a tall order.
And it’s something she would cherish as she moves on to a new team in the PSL.