RDJ throws support to NT

CEBU CITY – Ramil de Jesus is leaving his doors slightly open for the national women’s volleyball team.

Arguably one of the country’s best coaches, de Jesus said he would carefully asses the situation should the national federation, the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI), formally offers him the position.

De Jesus could be a perfect choice.

He molded national team players like Mika Reyes, Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy and Asia’s second best libero in Dawn Macandili into superb players while preaching the value of discipline, hard work, and camaraderie.

At the collegiate level, he piloted De La Salle University to 10 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) titles, the last two coming at the expense of rival Ateneo de Manila University.

Last year, he steered F2 Logistics to the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference title with Macandili emerging as Most Valuable Player.

But the most impressive feather on his cap was achieved on the international stage.

De Jesus was the architect of the Philippines’ bronze-medal finish in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in Bacolod City, a stellar feat that remains unmatched up to this very moment.

He was supposed to coach the Nationals in the 28th SEA Games in Singapore two years ago, but political turmoil rocked the Philippine Volleyball Federation, prompting seasoned coach Roger Gorayeb to replace him.

At the sidelines of F2 Logistics exhibition match against the All-Star players of Cebu last week in this city, de Jesus revealed that he would study the possibility of handling the Philippine Team anew depending on the offer and the situation.

But since Francis Vicente is still officially the head coach of the national squad, de Jesus said he would just throw his full support to him and the program.

“So pabayaan na lang muna natin sa ibang tao yun.”

“Ako naman nadito lang. So pag may nag-offer ng maganda, tingnan ko, pag-aralan ko kung anong maiitulong ko sa team. So since sa ngayon sa iba binigay, yun na lang muna. Suporta na lang.”

Full support

There’s no doubt that de Jesus is very supportive of the national team program.

When Vicente called on three of his prized wards – Marano, Macandili and Fajardo – he immediately made them available.

In fact, he even advised Macandili to advance all her school work because she would be out for over a month due to the 17-day training in Japan, the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship in Binan City and the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Then, when Rachel Anne Daquis pulled out of the squad headed for the SEA Games, de Jesus immediately issued the green light to Dy to serve as her replacement.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said nobody should question de Jesus’ dedication and willingness to support the national team even in a non-coaching capacity.

“Coach Ramil has always been very supportive.”

“Basta walang conflict sa schedule ng club or ng school, palagi syang naka-suporta para sa bayan.”

Although the national squad failed to clinch its target of a bronze medal finish in the biennial meet, the LVPI stressed that Vicente would stay to map out a fresh two-year program in a bid to return to the medal podium when the country hosts the SEA Games in 2019.

De Jesus, however, said his support would never waver whoever is calling the shots.

“Kung sino man ang maging magandang choice nila, suportahan na lang natin.” – BY John Carlo Villaruel

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