Title no. 30 or bust for the FEU Lady Tamaraws
Paul Lintag on Jan 26, 2016 10:28 AM
The FEU Lady Tamaraws set their sights on championship number 30.
Number of Women’s Volleyball Titles: 29
Season 77 record: 6-8 (T-4th)
Head coach: Shaq Delos Santos
One and done in the Final Four last year after barely making it to the playoffs, the FEU Lady Tamaraws are looking to make some bigger noise in Season 78 on the strength of their veteran lineup and the return of a steady presence on offense.
Beating the UST Golden Tigresses in five sets to make the playoffs as the no. 4 seed in Season 77 only to lose at the hands of the NU Lady Bulldogs in the first round of the stepladder semifinals, FEU wants to follow another script to their season this year.
For one, the Lady Tamaraws don't want another mid-season collapse before they realize they have to rally in the end.
That is where their maturity is supposed to come in.
"Kaya naman pala namin bakit nung una hindi namin ginawa so parang lesson na din samin yun for this season na start pa lang," Bernadeth Pons said talking about their rocky journey to the Final Four last season and how to avoid that on their way back this year.
FEU was 4-8 before the Lady Tamaraws won their last two games and had a little luck when the Tigresses suffered a slide of their own to finish the elimination round.
With premier libero Tin Agno already exhausting her playing years, the Lady Tamaraws are putting a premium on defense for Season 78.
"Yung ipanglalaban talaga namin is yung depensa kasi yung atake nandiyan na eh. Once mawala yung depensa namin yun ang magiging weakness namin," returning setter Gyzelle Sy said.
The Lady Tamaraws are out to win a championship this year, and the tough lessons learned from Season 77 are certainly not forgotten.
For Pons, consistency should be the name of the game this year especially after frustrations grew last season when her team could not translate what they do in practice into the actual games.
"Maganda talaga mga ensayo namin kaya kahit kami sa sarili namin naiinis kami kasi pag sa game hindi kami ganun eh, hindi kami yun. Parang bakit ganun? Hindi ko talaga ma-determine kung ano yung main reason kung bakit," she said.
For the new season set to kick off in less than a week, FEU is having none of all that.
"Lahat naman natuto na, nadala na kasi syempre goal talaga namin this season na mag-champion kami," Pons added.
Save for the Ateneo Lady Eagles who still look like a cut above the rest of the field, the hungry Lady Tamaraws could very well take a twice-to-beat advantage without much fanfare.
The FEU men's basketball team did it, so there is no reason why the girls from Morayta, the winnigest team in history by the way, can't do it too.
Upside: The return of veteran setter Gyzelle Sy could spell the difference from FEU's campaign last year.
Downside: FEU's perennial problem: consistency. With this season expected to be unpredictable, the Lady Tams just can't afford another on-and-off outing. Defense is also suspect with the departure of national team member Tin Agno. Besides, how can Sy create a play without a good first ball, right?
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