MANILA, Philippines — Even without the presence of coach Ramil De Jesus on the bench, his magic continues to do wonders for the La Salle Lady Spikers in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
La Salle ended a four-game losing skid to National University Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday and interim coach Noel Orcullo bared that De Jesus, the 11-time champion coach, even took time to give his reminders to the players before going to Mall of Asia Arena.
“Even coach Ramil gave his reminders to the team before we left this morning. He reminded them not to be intimidated. He only gave a brief reminder,” said Orcullo in Filipino.
The Lady Spikers definitely showed no fear against the defending champions to a first-round sweep with a 25-10, 25-15, 25-21 victory.
Super rookie Angel Canino, who led the way with 14 points, said De Jesus continues to make an impact for the team–inside and outside of it–even though he isn’t able to attend their games due to an undisclosed matter.
“Coach Ramil has a huge impact on our lives and our team. So whatever he says, we follow. We follow all of our coaches,” Canino said.
Fifi Sharma, who chipped in 12 points with an efficient 10-of-14 attacking clip, said De Jesus’ continued guidance was one of the main reasons why La Salle was able to sweep the first round for the first time since Season 76 in 2014.
“It’s always meaningful when coach Ramil gives us advice before the game. We miss him. Of course, it means a lot to us that he’s always there behind everything and he’s the main reason why we achieved this win today,” said Sharma.
Team captain Mars Alba also credited Orcullo for guiding the team.
“[De Jesus] always visits us and we always listen to his advice. With the help of coach Noel, we were able to execute the things that coach Ramil wants us to do,” said the setter, who dished out 20 excellent sets.
Orcullo, who said before the season that De Jesus might go to their games in the second round, played coy when asked if the legendary coach will return in the next round starting on Saturday when they face NU anew at Philsports Arena.
“Let’s wait and see,” Orcullo said.
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