May 24, 2024

UAAP: Lyann De Guzman relishes facing former coach Oliver Almadro as Ateneo overcomes UP in five sets

UAAP: Lyann De Guzman relishes facing former coach Oliver Almadro as Ateneo overcomes UP in five sets
Lyann De Guzman led Ateneo Blue Eagles' huge comeback win over the UP Fighting Maroons. Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Lyann De Guzman and the Ateneo Blue Eagles encountered a familiar face as they went up against the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament on Wednesday, February 28.

On the other side was coach Oliver Almadro, who formerly led the Blue Eagles from 2019 to 2023.

The 5-foot-10 outside hitter welcomed facing her former coach, but admitted that going up against the Almadro-led Fighting Maroons was a different system compared to his time with Ateneo.

"Actually, iba din 'yung system nila. Hindi siya 'yung parang same samin last year, but for me, it's an opportunity for us na ngayon nakalaban namin dati naming coach," De Guzman said during the post-game press conference. "It's great naman, there's nothing new, just have fun."

As the Battle of Katipunan ensued, it looked like the Fighting Maroons were on their way to a clean straight-sets victory, but Lyann and the Blue Eagles mounted an incredible comeback to pull off a thrilling five-set win.

De Guzman finished with a career-high 24 points, along with 11 excellent digs and 18 excellent receptions as Ateneo grabbed its first win in Season 86. It was also coach Sergio Veloso's first victory in the UAAP as new Blue Eagles coach.

"Very helpful itong win na ito for us kasi makaka-boost ng confidence namin," said De Guzman. "We all know we're doing great sa training na kaya talaga namin ilabas sa game na sundin lang system ni coach [Sergio] and do our job inside the court."

De Guzman and Ateneo will try grab back-to-back wins as they go up against the DLSU Lady Spikers on Saturday, March 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena at 4:00 p.m.