MANILA, Philippines -- Oliver Almadro insists that there is no conflict as he juggles coaching responsibilities with the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the Petro Gazz Angels in the Premier Volleyball League.
The coach made an impassioned defense of his current job situation on Saturday night, after the Gazz Angels lost to Creamline in their first game of the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference at the Araneta Coliseum.
"Lagi na lang tanong sa akin 'yan. Hindi lang naman ako -- again, hindi lang naman ako ang coach na coach ng UAAP at coach ng PVL or Spikers' Turf," said Almadro, when asked how he balances his time between Ateneo and Petro Gazz.
"So lagi akong kine-question diyan. I don't have anything wrong with Ateneo. Ateneo is very happy that I got another job, and for the record, wala akong problema sa Ateneo. Ateneo is supporting me," he insisted.
Coaching multiple teams at the same time is not new for Almadro, having done so even when he was the head coach of the Ateneo men's volleyball team. Even when he coached the women's team, he also called the shots for Choco Mucho in the PVL.
But in November 2022, the Flying Titans announced that Almadro has stepped down from his post as head coach, in order to "focus his efforts in developing the Ateneo women's volleyball program."
That he took on the Petro Gazz coaching job in January -- a month before the start of the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament -- ignited criticism.
However, Almadro insisted that it should be a non-issue, given that many coaches are also doing similar balancing acts.
"It's because, of course, we have to secure our family, our finances. 'Di ba, isa rin 'yun, isang point. And pangalawa, kailangan natin i-share ang talent natin and ang wisdom natin sa iba," said the coach. "And ang maganda dito, PetroGazz welcomes that very well, Ateneo welcomes that very well."
"So we're working together now. So maganda ang samahan namin. PetroGazz and Ateneo [are] really, really happy for me. I don't have any problems with Ateneo, and that's for the record," he added.
"Ateneo supports me. PetroGazz is supporting me. So, 'di ba, what can you ask from those two organizations, those two institutions that really wants to help me grow also as a mentor and as a teacher."
Ateneo's UAAP campaign starts on February 25.