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Find Out How Kobe Bryant Became Source of Inspiration for UAAP Volleyball

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Kobe Bryant’s inspiration reaches more than just basketball because for the millions of fans, “Mamba Mentality” is just simply a way of life.

Even in the volleyball realm, most hitters really looked up to the late Lakers legend back when he was still captivating the world with his relentlessness and passion on his game.

FEU men’s volleyball head coach Rey Diaz was glad that Nike sponsored his Tamaraws squad with “Mamba Focus” as their official in-game kicks.

“Ang alam ko kasi nirequest ng players ‘yan and parang mas komportable sila diyan,” Diaz bared after the team’s five-set victory against UST Golden Spikers on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

Meanwhile, The UST Golden Tigresses idolized Kobe so much that head coach Kung-Fu Reyes called his players “Mambacitas” as a tribute to Kobe’s daughter, Gianna Bryant.

Reyes said that even before Kobe and Gianna got figured in a tragic helicopter crash on January 26, the Golden Tigresses were really decided on rocking with “Mamba Focus Golden Phantom” edition.

“Noong November pa ‘yan dahil iniidolize nila si Kobe. Nakakalungkot lang na ganoon yung nangyari sa kanila, pero siyempre yung Mamba Mentality generation nila ‘yan, and “Mambacitas” yan sila,” said Reyes who just came off with a three-set victory against FEU Tamaraws.

More than the kicks, these spikers also make sure to honor Kobe’s name by emulating his extraordinary work-ethic and desire to be better when it comes to their trainings.

Hence, the “Mamba Mentality” lives on in the teams’ culture.

“May effect sa bawat isa (yung Mamba Mentality). Yung effect ni Kobe, magandang reminder sa bawat players, lalo na ako dahil idol ko ‘yun,” Diaz shared.”

“Biniro ko sila na halos ‘yung Mamba Mentality ginagawa natin kasi si Kobe nag-eensayo ng alas kuwatro tapos kami consistently nag-star kami ng 5 A.M.,” he added.

Part of Kobe’s path to his legendary basketball career was perfecting his craft, even if it means sacrificing his body.

Which is why coach Kung-Fu, who also happened to be a Michael Jordan fan, makes sure that his troops wouldn’t stop working hard to be the best team that they could be.

“Additional motivation yung Mamba Memtality, even sa game. Kung hindi kami nag-struggle sa practice hindi rin ka rin magiging better as a team,” Reyes quipped.

“Nag-struggle kami sa practice, ‘yung talagang nakakapagod, nagsusuka ka na, at gusto mo nang umayaw pero kailangang lumaban kasi para manalo. Iyon ang attitude namin na pilit namin binibuild-up, at nasa iisang page naman kami.”