NU coach Norman Miguel always grateful for UST stint

NU Lady Bulldogs Norman Miguel UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball Final Four FEU Lady Tamaraws

NU Lady Bulldogs coach Norman Miguel during a UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Final Four game against FEU Lady Tamaraws. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — National University coach Norman Miguel will have a special first UAAP finals appearance as he faces the school where his coaching career started.

When University of Santo Tomas last won a championship in Season 72 in 2010,  Miguel was part of the coaching staff of former coach Shaq Delos Santos, who is now back with the Tigresses as an assistant fir KungFu Reyes.

Miguel, who then served under the wing of coach August Sta. Maria, remains grateful to the school that gave him a break.

READ: NU Lady Bulldogs oust FEU, face UST in UAAP volleyball Finals

“Up to this day, my gratitude for my experience in UST under coach August will always be there,” said Miguel after eliminating Far Eastern University, 25-13, 27-25, 25-15, in their do-or-die Seasobn 86 Final Four match on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Until now, I still carry within me that coaching style. I’m so grateful I was part of that.”

The NU coach is on a mission to help the Lady Bulldogs reclaim the crown they lost last year when they battle the Tigresses in a best-of-three title series starting on Saturday also at the Big Dome.

READ: NU wants to sprint to UAAP finals; UST just savoring the moment

“Now I’m here working for their opponent,” I have to work for my team,” said Miguel, who returned to NU this season after leaving three years ago.

Miguel believes it would take “very hard preparations” to beat UST, which swept them in the first round before NU bounced back in the second round in a win that ended former’s eight-game unbeaten.

“UST’s character is something else. We’ll start scouting through video then from there, we’ll hone our technical schools to counter them,” said the NU coach.

Miguel was pleased with their sense of urgency for his team in the win-or-go-home match against FEU, recovering from a tough straight-set loss that purged their twice-to-beat advantage.

“We became complacent so we have to work on that. I told them if we don’t find a way, then we’ll all be going home. FEU had a bigger heart to get the game [Last Sunday], and I told them it was time for us to have the bigger heart this time.”