Newly-appointed F2 Logistics head coach Regine Diego hopes to continue the legacy and winning tradition of multi-titled mentor Ramil de Jesus when she makes her debut in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference slated to begin Saturday.
The De La Salle University product acknowledges the pressure of taking over a storied squad handled by her former college coach, regarded as one of the most successful volleyball tacticians in the country.
“Of course, I’m honored and happy because it was Coach Ramil who chose me, and my La Sallian family who wanted me to be appointed to this team, and also the team owners,” Diego said.
“I’m grateful for them (for) giving me this chance. But of course, I have to prove myself.”
Diego replaced interim coach Benson Bocboc, who took the reins during the Reinforced Conference with De Jesus taking a leave of absence for personal reasons.
“Well, I’m actually super happy to be here. I wish I could coach side by side with Coach Ramil; that’s the dream,” Diego said.
“But hopefully, eventually, malapit na, I can feel it.”
Expectations will be high as the Cargo Movers made some key movements during the offseason when it signed multi-awarded hitter Myla Pablo and with the return of versatile and grizzled veteran Cha Cruz.
Team captain Aby Maraño, Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, Kim Fajardo, Ara Galang and Ivy Lacsina will also be back seeking redemption.
Diego will be put under the microscope as the club shoots for a better showing this year after missing the podium in the Open and Reinforced Conferences in their maiden run in the country’s first and only professional women’s volleyball league.
F2 Logistics will open its campaign on 7 February against PLDT at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
“With the pressure, I think it can’t be helped. It’s always there. So whatever I do, win or lose, I know there’s always somebody hating me, or somebody supporting me. So all I can do, all my team or our team can do is to do our best every game, and try to improve every day,” Diego said.
The former national girls’ youth team head coach is not new to how F2 Logistics runs its game as it is built on the blueprint of De Jesus’ La Salle system.
She also sees her familiarity with the players of the Cargo Movers, who are mostly former Lady Spikers, some were even her teammates during her stay with La Salle, as a big advantage.
Diego played alongside Cruz and Maraño when she helped La Salle win a title during her college days from 2007-2010.
“It feels weird to be the coach at first, to be the coach of some of my teammates before. But it’s better. I think I’m in a good place because it feels so much easier for me to talk to them. Not just as a coach, but also as a friend, also as a teammate, so they understand what I’m trying to translate,” she said.