PVL: FEU to bank on Finals experience against newbie UP
Mark Escarlote on Sep 03, 2018 05:43 PM
Malaking advantage ‘yun (championship experience) kasi ‘yun na nga experienced na ‘yung players namin. ‘Yung UP first time nila so kahit papano (lamang kami doon) -- FEU coach George Pascua
If there will be one specific advantage in the Finals that Far Eastern University will look to capitalize on when the Lady Tamaraws face University of the Philippines for the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference crown, it’s definitely their championship experience.
Head coach George Pascua sees it as a weapon that they could use against the first-time finalists Lady Maroons when their best-of-three title showdown begins Sunday.
FEU finished runner-up in last year’s edition and took home silver in UAAP Season 80. The Lady Tamaraws also enjoy the luxury of having a seasoned and battle-tested core.
UP’s best finish in a high level tournament was a Final Four stint in the UAAP three years ago.
“Ah oo, malaking advantage ‘yun kasi ‘yun na nga experienced na ‘yung players namin. ‘Yung UP first time nila so kahit papano (lamang kami doon),” said Pascua, whose squad booted out University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four in a come-from-behind series win for a return stint in the Finals.
Pascua will pin his hopes on veterans Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o, setter Kyle Negrito and top rookie Lycha Ebon.
Still, the mentor knows that UP isn’t a pushover team especially after the fourth seed Lady Maroons scored a huge upset over Adamson University, which swept the elimination.
“Pero syempre mahirap din magkumpyansa kasi ang labanan ngayon character na lang eh kasi lahat ng teams unpredictable eh,” he said. “Hindi mo alam kung sino ‘yung mananalo that day so depende na lang sa player kung ano ang magiging desire nila.”
FEU defeated UP in the elims but the Lady Tams will face a different Lady Maroons side. UP started out shaky but slowly jelled and found their rhythm as the conference progressed.
The Lady Maroons’ veterans also stepped up their game with the likes of Marian Buitre, Marist Layug, Aie Gannaban and sophomore Roselyn Rosier helping out prized hitter Isa Molde on offense and in floor defense.
UP head coach Godfrey Okumu also has at his disposal veteran setter Ayel Estranero and a young but steady playmaker Marianne Sotomil.
With the Lady Maroons' seemingly diverse rotation despite the absence of injured Tots Carlos and Nicole Magasarile, Pascua and his coaching staff are devicing a good game plan to defeat the Diliman-based squad.
“‘Yung UP very unpredictable din ang laro nila kumbaga hindi mo alam kung sino ang magle-level up sa kanila,” Pascua said. “Every game kasi iba ‘yung ano nila so meron din kaming specific person na binabantayan sina Molde, Buitre.”
“Siyempre paplanuhin namin ‘yang game plan for UP,” he closed.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles