COACH Ron Dulay, who steered Ateneo to a historic Final Four berth in UAAP women's volleyball and the architect of La Salle's two men's volleyball championships, passed away Monday night due to bone marrow disease.
He was 48.
It was Dulay who planted the seeds of the Lady Eagles' becoming a major force in the league with a breakthrough Final Four finish in his second season with Ateneo in 2007-08 with Charo Soriano leading the charge.
"Rest in peace, Coach Ron. The whole volleyball community will miss you. Our AWVT Season 69 batch learned a lot with you as our head coach. Thank you for everything," said Soriano through her Twitter account.
"I shall never forget that UAAP season because it’s the first time for the Lady Eagles to make it to the Final 4 as promised. It was you (Dulay) who steered to make the Lady Eagles a very competitive team," said the team's former manager Tony Boy Liao.
Behind Janley Patrona, La Salle ruled the men's tournament - which was usually dominated by Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas - in 2001 and 2003.
Dulay returned to La Salle's men's volleyball program in 2014 and lasted for three seasons. He also handled University of the Philippines' women's team in 2009-10.
Before the volleyball competitions were put to a hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dulay was Mike Inoferio's assistant coach in Letran in the NCAA and Vilet Ponce de Leon's top assistant in Marinerang Pilipina in the Philippine SuperLiga.
In an interview with campus paper The LaSallian in 2014, a dedicated Dulay simply wants to grow the game.
“Mahal ko kasi itong sport na ito,” said Dulay. “Marami akong naging kaibigan. Marami akong natutunan dito sa sports na ito.”
Dulay served as assistant coach for the bronze medal-winning Philippine women’s volleyball team under Ramil de Jesus in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games in Bacolod, and Francis Vicente in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur. He was also one of the members of Vicente's PLDT Home Fibr coaching staff in the 2014 Asian men’s club volleyball championship.