PVL: Pascua wants FEU to withstand strong and loud crowds
Danine Cruz on Sep 13, 2018 02:27 PM
FEU's George Pascua wants the Lady Tamaraws to develop the zen and the composure to withstand a crowd as loud as UP's.
The Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Finals was brimming with fanfare.
In Game 2, patches of Far Eastern University fans were present in the Filoil Flying V Centre, Wednesday night.
When the Lady Tamaraws charged to win back-to-back sets to force a deciding set, those patches of fans were alive and kicking. But when the tide turned in the fifth, the number of the green and gold supporters paled in comparison to the University of the Philippines' sea of maroon.
With screams of "UP Fight" and chants of "Matatapang, matatalino, walang takot kahit kanino," the Lady Maroons' inspiration became the Lady Tamaraws' intimidation.
"Medyo na-intimidate sila sa crowd. Yun pa 'yung naging factor ng kalaban, 'yung crowd. 'Yun 'yung bumubuhay sa kalaban, 'yun naman yung bumabaril sa atin. So, nung nabuhay yung crowd, na-rattle tayo ng bigla," explained FEU coach George Pascua.
During the fifth set, the series seemed poised to reach Game 3 with the Lady Tamaraws leading, 13-7, but after a couple of misreceptions, the momentum shifted to the Lady Maroons. At that time it seemed like every UP fan present in the Filoil Flying V Centre screamed like there was no tomorrow.
For every point made towards 15, the sea of maroon turned into a storm rhythmically jumping up and down through the U-nibersidad beats.
On the other hand, the girls in green and gold were left stunned.
I recorded crowd reaction after every point since UP equalized in the fifth set. Memory is a blur, everything went by so fast and I had goose bumps all over. Look at this crowd after 14-13. All hands up, eveyone jumping, screaming like crazy. Wow UP. #PVLCollegiateConference2018 pic.twitter.com/B8OIE98Cgb— Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) September 12, 2018
"'Yun 'yung gusto kong ma-overcome nila. Kailangan kahit ganun kalakas 'yung crowd ng kalaban, gusto kong andoon pa rin 'yung composure at tsaka 'yung focus. More on character 'yung gusto naming i-develop sa kanila kasi yung skill na-develop na namin eh. Kasi twice na nangyari sa'min nung UAAP Finals na medyo na-[rattle] sila sa crowd tapos ngayon, crowd nanaman ulit nakalaban namin," Pascua added recalling their UAAP Season 80 loss against eventual champions DLSU Lady Spikers who arguably have a rabid crowd support too.
Aside from the raucous crowd that they needed to block out, Pascua also thinks that there was a lapse on the part of his veterans who failed to close out the match in the fifth.
"Kasi doon sa huli, wala 'yung player na inaasahan naming mag-step up. Dapat 'yung mag se-step up sa mga crucial points na yun ay mga veterans," he said.
Nonetheless, it was still a great achievement for Lady Tamaraws considering that Bernadeth Pons already graduated, and both Celine Domingo and Chin Basas were sidelined due to injuries. It was still a feat that they put up such a strong game in a beautifully dramatic finals series and Pascua recongnized that.
"Kaya pala namin lumaban without 'yung mga key players namin. Very proud ako sa mga bata. They did their best talaga, talagang kaya talaga kaso kinulang kami ng tao. It's a long journey pa for UAAP," he said.
With Pascua's sentiments factored in, crowd and veteran involvement considered, safe to say that it takes a whole arena to win a championship.
Follow this writer, @the9cruz