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Shaq Delos Santos thankful UP WVT gets new backing amid recent issues

In a month full of trials for the UP women's volleyball team, they end it with a huge blessing. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—It has been a rough March so far for the UP women's volleyball team.

Aside from their on-court struggles so far in UAAP Season 85, the Lady Maroons recently revealed that they too are having off-court battles, accusing team manager Angela Villamil of ignoring basic needs, neglecting injuries, and failing to communicate to their student-athlete benefits.

The team management issues came to a point that the team asked then UP Diliman chancellor Fidel Nemenzo to bring them back under the fold of the Nowhere to Go But UP Foundation.

Nemenzo's resolutions, however, hit a road block as he imposed them just before his term ended on March 1, the same day UP's volleybelles publicized their demand letter as only the new chancellor could do them.

For coach Shaq Delos Santos, however, these kind of challenges are already normal.

"Lahat naman ng teams, merong mga challenges na nae-encounter," Delos Santos told Dugout Philippines on Tuesday.

For now, the multi-titled tactician said that the Lady Maroons are staying patient.

"Sinet lang namin ang mind namin na darating din naman yung time na maso-solve siya. Hindi naman ganoon kabilis pero right now, slowly naso-solve namin. Kahit papaano hindi perfect, pero nagagawa namin ng paraan," Delos Santos added.

In this era where sponsors have come from everywhere to back college teams—with their men's basketball counterparts getting huge support which helped them end a 36-year drought for a UAAP title—Delos Santos is happy that the UP WVT got a new backing from Hotel Sogo and Eurotel.

The backing was formalized in Eurotel's Cubao branch here with the entire team and also UP College of Human Kinetics dean Kiko Diaz in attendance.

"Sobrang laki ng tulong sa amin kasi yan yung isa sa reasons why namin naso-solve yung mga problems na na-encounter namin," Delos Santos added.

However, hearing Sogo and Eurotel's names alone could make one fan feel awkward as to why UP let them back the WVT as they keep on being downplayed in the hotel industry by casuals.

But for Delos Santos, as long as they express willingness to help, the team will let them in.

"Ang goal naman namin, kung sino ang makakatulong—100 percent and buong puso na talagang tutulong na walang hesitation," he further said. "Very thankful kami. Hindi namin tinitignan yung other side nito."

Delos Santos added, "Napalaking tulong sa amin na meron kaming sponsor na willing tumulong kahit anong mangyari through ups and downs. Yun ang kailangan namin."

He then said that the Lady Maroons might set a meeting with NTGBUP very soon to further address the team's situation.

"Willing naman silang makipagusap," Delos Santos bared.

But while they wait for that meeting to take place, Delos Santos revealed that the sponsorships for the team will keep on coming as the days go by.

"Marami pang darating, and ready kami doon. Ang kailangan talaga namin is mag-focus muna din talaga doon sa team namin—paano namin ma-strengthen uli kasi syempre yun ang priority namin and hopefully magkaroon kami ng good performance," he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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