“Head coach ako ng La Salle Dasma, assistant coach ako sa La Salle Manila,” said the newly-appointed Patriot Spiker Head Coach Mikko Gako. “Kung tatanungin mo ako kung anong mas priority ko, La Salle Dasma,” the former Patriot spiker furthered when asked about his commitments to the DLSU-Manila and DLSU-Dasmariñas men’s volleyball teams.
Due to the resignation of Al-Frazin Abdulwahab and Alnakran Abdilla, Gako was assigned as the new head coach of the green-and-white spikers alongside fresh graduate and former Patriot setter Al-sharin Abdulwahab as the assistant coach last July.
Last school year, overloading agendas posed a major problem for Al-frazin Adulwahab and Abdilla, leading to them missing scrimmages and matches.
Despite this, Gako, a former DLSU-D Broadcast Journalism student, continues to praise them. “But with all due respect rin naman doon sa dalawa nating coaches, I think they still did a good job. Kaya lang ‘yong mga professional commitment, iba kasi talaga.” he expressed.
This time, the San Pedro Laguna native promises to eradicate this dilemma as it’s not his first time juggling teams and responsibilities. “I am [a] committed person. I’ve been [a] coach for Casa Del Niño Science High school nang apat na taon. Two teams ang hinahawakan ko doon, babae at lalaki. ‘Yong level of commitment ko, mataas… most especially sa mga tinuturing ko na parang mga anak ko na, ibinibigay ko talaga ‘yong oras ko,” Gako said.
According to Gako, there will be no conflicts between the Manila-based school’s workouts as they start at 1:00 in the afternoon while DLSU-D’s MVT’s lasts from 5:30 AM to 8:30 AM.
“Kung may pagkakataon na mawala ako, I am assuring na hindi ganoon katagal at may kailangan lang ako asikasuhin.” the Patriot head coach said.
Due to this year’s hiatus in accepting enrollees in DLSU-D, the rookie coach has already been handed a recruitment problem that comes with the K to 12 implementation.
But Gako shared that it won’t stop him. “Lagi nga lang sinasabi ko sa team, palitan natin ‘yong salitang ’hindi’” ng ‘paano’. In every challenge na mahaharap natin, ‘wag natin sabihin na ’ay hindi ko kaya‘yan, hindi ko magagawa ‘yan’ kasi that moment na sinabi mong ’hindi’, it’s a red light sa utak natin.”
Another problem he’s facing is that some of the players were not able to meet the academic requirements required for being a varsity player, which leads to shifting his team’s line-up. Also, since the present assistant coach and former starting setter Abdulwahab (Al-Sharin) graduated in July, the setter spot was left empty.
Gako’s solution: placing Marco Ordoñez, last year’s libero, as this year’s setter given his track record as a setter back in his high school days at the University of Perpetual Help – Molino. “Si Onyok (Ordoñez) can play the setter as well, he is a natural setter na ginawang libero na babalik ulit sa setter.” Gako shared.
“Dalawang tao nag-push sa akin dito. ‘Yong last year na mga coach (Abdulwahab and Abdilla). ‘Yong dalawa kasing ‘yon mga dati kong teammate,” the former Patriot spiker said on who recommended DLSU-D to him.
The 29-year old added that DLSU-D’s expertise in handling a collegiate team and its substantial facilities made him accept the offer. “I’m always looking for a team [na] supported ng school. They have the idea kung paano nga ba tumakbo ang isang team. And I can say that De La Salle University-Dasmariñas is one of the best schools who supports its volleyball group.” he shared.
To justify his fascination, Gako used the Olympic-sized Oval, the continuous trainings, and the recruitment capacity as examples. “The international standard of everything, meron tayo.” he said.
Gako added, “‘Yong head ng Sports [Development Office] (SDO) natin [ay] dati kong coach, so I know mas mabilis na ‘yong pagkakaintidihan namin,” referring to current SDO Director Fidel Rojales.