IF YOU turn on the television and see crowd favorite Ateneo Lady Eagles now playing with the popular eight-letter word M-O-T-O-L-I-T-E on their uniforms, don't switch channel.
That’s because the Lady Eagles, now under new coach Oliver Almadro, will now be playing with the popular automotive, motorcycle and industrial car battery Motolite as their newest sponsor.
It’s a perfect match, if you ask Almadro.
Ateneo has a rich history of successes in the sporting arena --be it in basketball, chess, taekwondo and other sports.
Volleyball is one of them.
In fact, volleyball netizens from all over the country consider the Lady Eagles as the “Barangay Ginebra of volleyball.”
The Lady Eagles never fail to draw the crowd on and off the court and all their games in the ongoing PVL Open Conference and the UAAP are considered blockbusters regardless of the other teams on the other side of the floor.
They make heads turn even before the first serve is made and the last spike was done.
Motolite, one of the largest manufacturers, exporters, and distributors of automotive, motorcycle and industrial car batteries in the Asia Pacific Region and industry leader in the Philippines, will be a perfect addition.
Two winners teaming up is a great recipe for success.
“It’s a big challenge to me, but I’ll gladly accept if we make it all the way to the finals,” said Almadro, who rose to prominence by steering the Ateneo men’s volleyball team to three titles in the UAAP and three more in the commercial league before moving to the women’s squad
Almadro, the 42-year-old father of three, is also thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the historic Ateneo-La Salle rivalry in the UAAP.
“Handling Ateneo’s rookie-laden lineup and my transition from the men’s team to the women’s team will be a challenge," said Almadro, who once served as Ramil de Jesus’ assistant coach in De la Salle.
While admitting he is still behind in the recruitment of potential players compared with other UAAP coaches, Almadro said he intends to bring the recipe of success of the Eagles to the Lady Eagles.
“Trust is one of the components of the Eagles’ success, which included an unbeaten UAAP season in 2015,” said Almadro, who saw action for Letran in the NCAA volleyball tournament during his collegiate days.
“Ginebra ng UAAP women’s volleyball ang Ateneo kaya kailangang ipakita namin na there is a bigger purpose sa aming paglalaro,” said Almadro, who also served as coach of the Philippine team in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
“Never-say-die ang Ginebra at ganito rin dapat kami sapagkat hindi buo ang araw ng aming mga miron kung makikitang kami ay natatalo ng hindi lumalaban,’’ added Almadro.
He said the team is flying to Japan before the end of the year as “part of Ateneo’s preparations for the UAAP, which usually opens during the second semester.”
His three inspiring words: “Paniniwala sa Poong Maykapal, pagtitiwala sa isa’t-isa at katapangan.”
With Motolite around, Almadro and the Lady Eagles hope to do even better and reap more success for a long time.
Motolite’s entry to the sporting world, however, is no longer new.
It is long time sponsor of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and it is also involved in motorsports, billiards and other sports.
It is expected to provide a big hand of support to Ateneo and its sports program for years to come, just like in Motolite’s very own slogan, “trusted na pang-matagalan.’”
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