Miracle worker

February 02, 2019
The University of Perpetual Help Lady Altas, coached by Cariño, celebrate after winning Game One of their title series against Arellano University Lady Chiefs. They go for the title next Friday. (Dennis Abrina, PJ)

COACH Macky Cariño has slowly become the NCAA women’s volleyball ‘miracle worker’.

Hoping to replicate his improbable 2016 championship run with College of Saint Benilde for University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, Cariño is almost there.

Written off late in the eliminations, the Lady Altas have won their last five games, including four do-or-die  matches to move on the cusp of reclaiming the crown they last won in 2014.

The league’s comeback kids, Perpetual Help beat defending two-time champion Arellano University, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, in last Friday’s opener to continue its Cinderella run.

“Yung ginawa nilang ‘yan ay sa kagustuhan nilang manalo eh. ’Di mo na kailangang sabihin sa mga batang ito na ‘magtrabaho ka, nandoon ka na sa loob dapat do your job’,” said Cariño.

“Lahat kami may pinanghahawakan, kung ano ang goal na pinanghahawakan namin which is mag-champion,” he added.

After dismantling the twice-to-beat Lady Blazers in the Final Four, the Lady Altas’ desire to bring back the glory days has showed up.

“Alam mo nu’ng St. Benilde pa lang alam kong ang mga batang ito gusto talagang manalo eh,” said Cariño.

Cindy Imbo has been the glue that stuck Perpetual Help together with 18 points and 16 receptions in Game 1.  The graduating Cavite native dropped a season-high and personal-best 32 points in the Lady Altas’ five-set win over the Lady Blazers in the Final Four decider.

“Siyempre po sobrang happy kasi lahat kami nako-contribute. Lahat ng pagod namin sobrang mahalaga po sa bawat isa sa amin. Parang dream po talaga namin ito. So lahat tinatrabaho namin,” said Imbo.

Game 2 is slated at 4 p.m. on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, with Perpetual Help gunning for its fourth women’s championship overall.