February 28, 2024

UAAP: Sergio Veloso eyes Final Four finish for rebuilding Ateneo

UAAP: Sergio Veloso eyes Final Four finish for rebuilding Ateneo
Photo (c) UAAP

The Ateneo Blue Eagles will start fresh when UAAP Season 86 comes along.

After their disappointing sixth-place finish last season, the Blue Eagles knew it was time for things to change.

Last July, Ateneo announced that Philippine men's volleyball head coach Sergio Veloso would be leading the women’s program, replacing Oliver Almadro.

Veloso has since been tasked to spearhead the rebuilding phase for the Blue Eagles after the departures of Faith Nisperos and Vanie Gandler.

Not even a year after his appointment, the Brazilian tactician is already excited about how the team will perform in Season 86, especially with their progress during the pre-season tournaments.

“I'm so excited, I know the UAAP tournament is a strong championship,” Veloso told One Sports during the UAAP Season 86 press conference on Monday.

“We started our preparation in July, we did a pre-season and after that, we participated in two tournaments. Last week, we played with good teams and I can see how our team improved and I think we can show [a] good fight in the tournament,” he added.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: Roma Mae Doromal embraces leadership in rebuilding Blue Eagles]

While Ateneo was unable to bring home trophies from their pre-season tournaments, it’s the experience that will go a long way for the young Katipunan-based squad.

That’s why Veloso is not one to put pressure on his team, but he has key targets in mind for Season 86.

“Mentally, we try to do our best, no matter the opponent,” said Veloso. “Our players need to play their maximum all the time.”

“I want to take our team to the top four, it's our target. I know [we] have strong opponents, but [we] fight for that,” he added.