Na "...careful what you wish for" ako with the GC, volleyball and Cheerdance kasi, during the uninterrupted GC reign of UST, nasabi ko na sana all the schools take the GC seriously at hindi lang UST and UP. I also said the same when UST was always in the top 2 of the Men's, Womens', and Girls' volleyball, and were repeat champs of the Cheerdance competition. Ayan, we lost the GC back-to-back, couldn't crack the F4 in Women's Vball for consecutive years din and relinquished the Men's Vball to NU tapos naging cause for celebration na ang podium finish sa Cheerdance when a 2nd place finish use to be considered a huge let down.
The latest triumph of the Lady Eagles in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament presented Ateneo de Manila University another feather to stick in its athletic cap and the rest of the varsity field—actually the country’s entire sports infrastructure—a blueprint for a winning program.
The Lady Eagles, who won their second straight volleyball crown, were not overnight queens. They were a champion team that emerged from irrelevance, a painful and arduous climb to the top, and stinging Finals losses. Throughout that journey, Ateneo built its formidable flock piece by piece, slowly but steadily.
There are, in fact, still remnants from the teams that suffered losses to archrival La Salle in championship showdowns. Phenomenal talent Alyssa Valdez began her rise as ultimate volleyball superstar on the heels of Finals losses to the likes of Michele Gumabao and the Lady Spikers. Ateneo, then built around its fabled Super Six led by Gretchen Ho and Fille Cainglet, had just made itself a relevant player in women’s volleyball when La Salle showed the Lady Eagles that they had so much to learn before they could make it to the top.
And learn they did.
Patiently, and even as it lost its key stars to graduation, Ateneo slowly honed what remained in the ashes of defeat—girls like Valdez, Amy Amohiro, Denden Lazaro and Ella de Jesus—into battle-tested fighters and leaders. The Lady Eagles then added crucial pieces here and there using an enviable recruitment program that netted some of volleyball’s most promising young stars, including the likes of Michelle Morente, Jia Morado and Bea de Leon.
On top of that, Ateneo hired Thai coach Tai Bundit, the sidelines-jigging mentor who preached both a winning attitude and, well, happiness to a team that embraced his philosophy wholeheartedly.
“He told us to keep being happy,” said Valdez. “If we are happy, we can win.”
Perhaps no other Ateneo star latched on to this quaint sporting idea more tightly than Valdez. Rather like a hyperactive teen on a pogo stick, Valdez would leap for her trademark killer spikes and explode in a radiant smile once the point is scored. Winner. Happy.
For some reason, Bundit has managed to connect on a higher level with his Lady Eagles. Communication between coach and players runs on fiber-optic clarity despite the fact that Bundit can barely speak English or Filipino. And yet there is hardly any misunderstanding, and no garbled instruction to lead to miscues that opponents can pounce on.
A gesture, a look, a word. That’s all Bundit sometimes needs to get his message across. It is a message, after all, that has been drilled into the team over and over again in so many practice sessions that there is no need for detailed elaboration. Work harder than the opponent.
Focus. Find the openings. Be happy.
As has been made evident, the Lady Eagles live and breathe their coach’s philosophy, and communication comes naturally between them.
Critics will say that Ateneo cut certain corners when it poached talents from solid high school programs. But this poaching was a product of painstaking scouting, of finding the right people to recruit. It has been proven, after all, that forming a squad of superstar talents does not necessarily result in winning championships. And Ateneo’s recruitment staff quickly figured that one out, choosing to go after talents deemed a good fit for the team’s system and its coach’s philosophy.
The result validated the Ateneo way to volleyball greatness.
Since those tearful defeats to La Salle, the Lady Eagles have won back-to-back titles. Tai Bundit hasn’t lost a UAAP crown since arriving in the country in 2013. Certainly, it would help other sporting programs to look hard at the process that Ateneo undertook to rule one of the marquee events of the UAAP wars.
It wouldn’t hurt to study how Ateneo pulled itself out of volleyball’s black hole to become one of the most successful and visible collegiate squads today. It should be important to note that this is the same process that the Ateneo men’s team undertook to make history by winning its first UAAP volleyball title. Ateneo did it through patient recruitment, through intensive training, and through learning nonmeasurable skills needed for championship runs: mental toughness, fortitude, focus.
This was how the Lady Eagles—and their male counterparts—soared. No reason others can’t take the same arc to success.
MANILA, Philippines–Perfection just got a personification.
It was another perfect season for Adamson University as they tore University of the Philippines into pieces, 10-0, to claim their fifth straight UAAP Softball title Thursday morning at the Rizal Baseball Stadium.
Not only did Adamson notch their fifth straight crown, they also chalked up their 62nd straight victory across five seasons.
Lady Falcons head coach Ana Santiago said her young team had to mature to go into their fifth title run.
“What was important was their will for this year,” Santiago said who also had her ninth title after 11 seasons with the coaching staff of Adamson. “All the players have that will, but what’s important is their will to prepare.”
“The moment they stand up and walk to the field, they should tell themselves that they are winners.”
And win they did.
Queeny Sabobo went for a screamer toward the center field for a closing home run bringing along Krisna Paguican to the home plate in the top of the seventh inning.
Santiago also admired UP’s resilience as her players had to put down a “fighter.”
SENATOR Pia Cayetano has slammed the UAAP board's decision to declare Ateneo recruit Hubert Cani ineligible this season, saying its another display of the college league's 'arrogance' and 'immaturity.'
The UAAP ruled on Monday that Cani cannot play for the Blue Eagles in the coming season, invoking the league's two-year controversial residency rule for high school transferees which is set to be outlawed by the Student-Athletes Protection Bill which Cayetano sponsored and pushed in the Senate.
However, the league board ruled that the case of Cani, a former high school star at National University who moved to Ateneo last school year, is not covered by the bill which has been passed by both houses of Congress and is only awaiting President Aquino's signature to become a law.
"The UAAP board has once more displayed its arrogance and immaturity by invoking its unjust two-year residency rule against a high school student-athlete who has transferred to a different school in college," said Cayetano in a statement.
Cayetano said it is immaterial that the Student-Athletes Protection Bill, which will bar college leagues from imposing residency rules on transferees once it becomes a law, has not been signed by the President.
The senator said residency rules are unjust, period.
"This is the very same UAAP rule that an RTC court struck down two years ago in favor of (UP) swimmer Mikee Bartolome," she said. "In the case of basketball player Hubert Cani, he has even served one-year residence already and was hoping to play this season.
"It is irrelevant that the Student-Athletes Protection Bill has not been signed by the President yet. The UAAP must respect a student-athlete's right to study and play for the school of his choice. The UAAP is not a commercial but an amateur league.
"The UAAP board should stop treating student-athletes like commodities."