Loyalty and respect brought Paolo Bugas back to FEU
Santino Honasan on Feb 06, 2017 01:12 PM
“Ayaw ko naman na iwan na lang basta yung team tsaka yung FEU.”
Following last season’s disappointing campaign, Far Eastern University’s star midfielder Paolo Bugas could have easily walked away from collegiate football.
A multi-time national team call up, the 22-year old has found a home with Global FC, considered by many as the country’s top club team, and all their international exposure is doing wonders for Bugas’ football career. He could have focused on his club team, and no one would have faulted him for it.
Yet, when FEU kicked off their UAAP Season 79 football campaign Sunday afternoon, jersey number 39 was right there in green and gold, calling the shots and leading his team.
“Loyalty talaga,” Bugas said, when asked what brought him back for his final season with the Tamaraw booters. “Kasi syempre, last season ko na, and gusto ko i-prove sa FEU community na, kahit may team ako sa labas, yung Global FC, kaya ko i-balance this season.”
In five seasons with FEU, Bugas has helped the team to four straight Final Four appearances and back-to-back titles in Season 76 and 77. During their Season 76 title run, Bugas claimed MVP honors.
According to the Davaoeño, respect also played a big factor in his decision to return for a final tour of duty.
“Nag-decide talaga ako na babalik talaga ako, kasi syempre, may respeto ako sa mga boss namin sa FEU, lumaki ako dito, kasi kung hindi dahil sa kanila, siguro wala ako dito sa FEU, so sila din yung nagbigay sa akin ng chance na mag-laro dito.”
“Ayaw ko naman na iwan na lang basta yung team tsaka yung FEU.” Bugas added.
This time around, Bugas won’t have running mates in Janjan Melliza, Eric Giganto, and Arnel Amita, but he’ll have the support of a cast of impressive young sophomores in Dave Deloso, high-scoring Rico Andes, and newly-appointed team skipper Val Jurao.
Jurao, Andes, and Deloso were all impressive in their rookie seasons for the Tams, and are shaping up to be the future of the FEU football program.
“After pa lang last season, nakapag-decide na si Master Kim na [si Jurao] na ang gawing team captain, actually dapat ako, pero sinabi ko na may Global FC kasi ako,” said Bugas, one of the team’s six seniors.
“May skills naman sila, kaya naman nila i-hold yung bola, so kailangan lang nila ng exposure sa game, so looking forward na mabigyan ng chance yung mga bata, and ma-expose sila hanggang matapos sila sa FEU.” Bugas said of his sophomores.