‘Puso’ behind UST’s twinkill in beach volleyball, says new coach

It was just another day in the office for UST’s beach volleyball teams. 

Both the Tiger Spikers and the Golden Tigresses dispatched separate foes to bag the UAAP Season 79 championships Sunday morning at the Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.

Men’s MVP KR Guzman and partner Anthony Arbasto walloped FEU, 21-16, 21-16, to set the tone for the victorious day for the Espana side, which never lost a match en route to the title.

Women’s MVP Cherry Rondina and Jem Gutierrez, meanwhile, needed to dig deep from their bag of tricks to outlast Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza in Game 3, 21-17, 21-10, to regain the crown.

And as fans of UST broke into hysteria at the sun-scorched venue, first-year head coach Paul Jan Doloiras silently marveled at his work.

Doloiras, who took over from veteran coach Emil Lontoc this year, said he is beyond happy for the feat achieved by his wards.

“First time lahat,” he shared. “First time ko maging head coach. Tapos first time namin ng mga bata na magsama-sama ulit. Talagang nung umpisa pa lang, naka-set na kami ng goals.”

The former UST spiker, who helped the Tigers to a 4-peat from Seasons 70 to 73, said his players worked double time after seeing Ateneo and La Salle cop the championship last year in the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.

“Sa practice, talagang tumodo sila. Sumunod sila sa game plan kaya nung elimination pa lang na nananalo kami, nakita na namin na pwede kaming mag-champion,” he added.

And as the Espana spikers proved to be a cut above the rest, Doloiras couldn’t be any prouder, saying he found the most important factor in being a champion on his players.

“Yung hinahanap na puso sa player, andun,” he said. “Sobrang proud ako. Yan yung hinahanap ko sa player. Talagang may puso yung mga bata. Pinaghirapan nila yan.”

“Kung alam niyo lang kung anong dinanas nung mga yan. Muntik ng magka injury halos lahat yan sa training. Dahil gusto lang nila to makuha, ginagawa nila lahat sa training. Kaya ako, tulong lang ako ng tulong. Support (lang), manager, lahat ng pwede naming itulong,” he added. — By Joyce Palad