MANILA, Philippines -- Arellano University's third consecutive NCAA women's title was special in many ways for head coach Obet Javier.
The way that the Lady Chiefs won was impressive. The two-time defending champions had to claw out of a 0-1 hole in the best-of-3 finals series against University of Perpetual Help, then hack out a thrilling five-set win last week.
They even fell behind in the winner-takes-all Game 3, squandering a 7-point lead in Set 1, before finding their rhythm and securing a 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 triumph.
"'Yung Perpetual, talagang ano eh, mataas 'yung respeto sa kanila. Talagang sinukat talaga nila kami. Pinilit nilang ilabas 'yung dapat namin mailabas eh, so nagpapasalamat kami roon," Javier said after their title win.
Making the achievement all the more worthwhile was that they made history for Arellano, added the coach.
"Kumbaga, lahat ito para sa school talaga eh, sunod na lang ang aming mga sarili. Pero itong panalo na ito, itong trophy na 'to, itong three-peat na 'to, para talaga sa school," he said. "Talagang ibinibigay nila sa amin lahat-lahat na dapat na para sa amin."
He said that Arellano's volleyball dynasty -- they have now won four of the last five women's volleyball titles -- is a credit to how their management supported him and his program.
"Hangga't andoon sila sa likuran namin, talagang pipilitin namin na laging suklian ang mga binibigay nila sa amin," said Javier.
"Sinasabi niyo nga, dynasty. Pipilitin namin na panghawakan, kasi minsan lang dumating sa isang team 'yan eh," he added. "So hangga't maari, dapat hindi namin mapakawalan. So, patuloy pa rin."
On a more personal note, Javier also dedicated his triumph to his late mentor, the multi-titled volleyball coach Nes Pamilar.
"Kung mapapansin natin, one month ni Coach Nes ngayon eh," he said. "Itong game na 'to, inaalay ko talaga sa kanya."
Pamilar passed away last January 12 due to heart failure. He had worked with Javier with the Power Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League.
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