by Kristel Satumbaga
Multi-titled mentor Ramil De Jesus was gracious in defeat after La Salle’s three-year reign came to a disappointing end, losing to the inspired University of Santo Tomas on Sunday in the UAAP women’s volleyball.
This marked the first time in 10 years that De Jesus and the Lady Spikers will not be playing in the finals after the Eya Laure-led Tigresses pulled off a 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10 win before a huge crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Dumadating naman sa isang tao o isang team yung pag na-reach mo yung dulo, posible kang bumagsak. Hindi naman lahat ng panahon nandoon ka sa taas eh,” said De Jesus, who has been mentoring the Taft-based squad for the last 21 years.
Actually it was a double blow for De Jesus whose team in the Philippine Superliga – F2 Logistics – lost to powerhouse Petron Blaze.
De Jesus admitted having a tough time juggling from one job to another.
Still, De Jesus is optimistic of his stalwarts’ futures.
UST mentor Kungfu Reyes, meanwhile, was grateful for De Jesus’ gesture after the match where the latter wished the Tigresses the best of luck.
“Malaking bagay nung sinabihan ako ni coach Ramil kanina ng ‘Good luck’ kasi siyempre living legend na natin sa Philippine volleyball yan, sa generation nila na ito,” said Reyes, adding that it boosts their morale heading to their first championship in eight years.
UST faces the winner between Far Eastern University and Ateneo, who will battle for the remaining finals spot on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan City.