Kat Tolentino is grateful for the familiar territory she’s in with the Choco Mucho Flying Titans.
“I think it’s just nice to have the Ateneo core with this team. It’s definitely an advantage because we know coach O’s (Oliver Almadro) system and we still have a lot of things to fix and we’re still adjusting,” said Tolentino, who dropped 18 points in Choco Mucho’s 28-26, 10-25, 27-25, 25-11 win against the PLDT Home Fiber Power Hitters Wednesday night, July 21, in the PVL Open Conference at the PVC Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
“So I think soon, hopefully, we’ll be able to really get the Ateneo system that Coach O has instilled in us and look forward to the future games.”
Bea De Leon, also a former Lady Eagle, hammered 18 points for the Flying Titans to intensify their dominance on both ends of the floor.
Seven of the Choco Mucho skippers used to suit up for Ateneo, namely Tolentino, De Leon, Maddie Madayag, Ponggay Gaston, Jamie Lavitoria, Kim Geguillana, and veteran Denden Lazaro-Revilla.
It was only in 2018 when Almadro took over the coaching duties for the Lady Eagles and eventually led the team to a championship in UAAP Season 81, besting the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, 2-1, in the Finals.
Multi-awarded libero Lazaro-Revilla, for her part, was a member of the Ateneo team that bagged the title in the UAAP Season 77.
Almadro reminded his wards to put their trust on each other for them to familiarize the system more especially after not seeing action in the court for a long time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sabi ko sa players, just keep on trusting each other, keep on having the faith and importante laging matapang lang sa ginagawa,” said Almadro.
“Nakasunod naman sa katawan. Sabi ko sa kanila, patience. Lalabas din yan ‘yong mga bandang dulo lumabas agad.”