MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines volleyball program director Oliver Almadro will have a dual role this UAAP Season 86 volleyball tournaments as he will also call the shots for the Fighting Maroons’ women’s volleyball team.
UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development on Friday announced that Almadro will also sit down as the head coach of the UP women’s team, while coach Sergio “Vip” Isada will call the shots for the men’s squad when the season fires off on February 17.
Almadro, who was appointed as the volleyball program director in August last year, accepted the challenge to help the Fighting Maroons rise from the ashes after only winning one of their 14 games last year.
“I’m eager to take on this challenge of re-energizing the UP Fight in volleyball. There will be challenges, of course, but this is a blessing for me and hopefully, with the all-out support of the UP community and the guidance of the Lord, we will be able to compete,” said Almadro.
The veteran coach, who won a total of five championships, two silver, and two bronze medals during his stay at Ateneo as men’s and women’s coach, seeks to impart his winning culture to the Maroons, bannered by Season 85 2nd-Best Middle Blocker Niña Ytang and skipper Abi Goc together with returning veterans Jewel Encarnacion and Nica Celis.
Almadro will have former UP captain and his Petro Gazz player Nicole Tiamzon and former Fighting Maroon Jarod Hubalde as his assistant coaches in rebuilding the program.
“Ang malinaw naman sa gusto nating mangyari is we want to compete and we want to win. Pero ‘di natin mamadaliin. We will go through the process, kaya rin natin pinabalik as coaches yung mga may alam talaga sa UP Fight in volleyball,” he said.
Meanwhile, Isada will have Carlo Cabatingan as his deputy with UPOASD Director Bo Perasol and new backer Strong Group Athletics on their side.
The men’s team, led by Louis Gamban and Gelo Lagando, is also hoping to rise from a one-win stint last Season 85.