Tams to bring new trick in knockout duel vs. Tigers
Part talaga ‘yun (na mapag-aralan kami). Pero may hindi pa sila nakikita sa amin -- FEU coach Rey Diaz
Far Eastern University head coach Rey Diaz is not worried of his team’s condition even after a long break or if the University of Sto. Tomas Tigers had enough time to make the necessary adjustments heading into their do-or-die 79th UAAP men’s volleyball stepladder semifinals on Wednesday.
The mentor is confident the Tamaraws still have some tricks under their sleeves when they march in the scheduled 2:00 p.m. battle at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
FEU swept the Espana-based squad in their two elimination round meetings including the no bearing, 25-23, 25-18, 25-18, end of elims encounter last April 8 before the Holy Week break.
The Morayta-based squad also overpowered the Tigers in the opening round 25-19, 25-23, 25-22.
With the season on the line, UST is sure to come out a different team.
But FEU is ready.
“Part talaga ‘yun (na mapag-aralan kami),” said Diaz. “Pero may hindi pa sila nakikita sa amin."
“So magkita na lang kami ulit sa susunod na laban nand hopefully naka-focus pa rin ang mga bata,” he added.
The Tams returned to the semis after missing the cut the past two seasons. FEU closed the elims with an 8-6 card.
“Napakalaking tama sa puso ng mga bata (ang pagbalik sa semis) kasi ang paghihirap namin last year parang kulang pa rin,” said Diaz.
“So ngayon talagang makikita mo na ang effort nila iba eh. Dati kung magbantay ako doble ngayon kung bantayan ko sila half na lang kasi may kusa sila kasi ang bata gusto talagang manalo,” the mentor added. “Talagang pinaghirapan nila. We deserved this position.”
Veteran Greg Dolor, who averaged 13.2 points per game in the elims, John Paul Bugaoan, Richard Solis and Jude Garcia are all expected to pour everything to help FEU survive.
The winner of the Tams-Tigers duel will face the twice-to-beat National University in the last phase of the stepladder semis for the right to challenge the three-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three Finals.
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