New UP volleyball coach Almadro eyes to cultivate winning culture

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
New UP volleyball coach Almadro eyes to cultivate winning culture
UP Fighting Maroonshead coach Oliver Almadro
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- Changing the culture of the UP Fighting Maroons will be the priority this season for new coach Oliver Almadro.

Almadro, who was named the new UP women’s volleyball coach earlier in the month, said that he is aiming to “slowly but surely’ change the story of the Fighting Maroons.

“It's a challenge [to coach UP] because we all know that the past years, the standings of both men’s and women’s [teams are low]. And I am tasked to start a new program,” Almadro told reporters in Filipino on Monday.

“I cannot say that I can change it right away in terms of skills, in terms of winning, but what I can assure everybody of the volleyball program as what Coach Bo [Perasol] said, slowly but surely. But like I said, if you want to change our story, we have to change our culture,” he added.

Both the UP men’s and women’s volleyball team had just won win apiece in the UAAP Season 85.

In the offseason, Almadro was tapped by UP to be the university’s volleyball program director.

Almadro recruited former UP Fighting Maroons Nicole Tiamzon and Jarod Hubalde as part of his women’s volleyball team.

Meanwhile, the men's volleyball team will be led by Sergio Isada.

“When the UP chancellor and Coach Bo talked to me, I said 'why are you getting me?' I just came from a losing season. And they said it’s not about the losing and the winning, it’s about what will you contribute to the program and how we value you as a coach and as a person of volleyball here in our country,” he said.

“So I said, temper expectations. Because, slowly but surely, with the help of [the Strong Group Athletics] that really supports us well. I said, we'll just put the Laban UP mantra… every day, every single game, no matter what the result is, it is not always important,” he added.

“What’s important is how they perform every day in practice and every day in training… We may not be winners yet this year, but hopefully, the culture, the Laban UP culture will return up to the very end.”

For this season, the goal of UP is to at least start winning games first, then possibly aim and shoot for the Final Four.

“If we can [reach the Final Four,] why not? But, of course, slowly but surely, we have to start winning games first. If we start winning games, then next is going to the Final Four,” Almadro said.

“Every day, every practice is a preparation to win games. We have to compete to win. Excellence is not enough. We really have to compete, compete every day and compete, and the mindset is to win,” he added.

The UAAP Season 86 volleyball season will start on Saturday, February 17, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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