UAAP VOLLEYBALL: That match was life-or-death for FEU’s coach George
FEU rallied around the frustrations of head coach George Pascua after they gave up the second set to NU
Far Eastern University, though a contender in its own right, was not tipped to go over erstwhile undefeated National University on Wednesday.
But then, the Lady Tamaraws were up one set and well within striking distance of the Lady Bulldogs in the second.
Then Bernadeth Pons had a service error.
And the next sequence had head coach George Pascua at his most candid.
Yes, that’s Pascua taking one of his players’ warmers and putting it around his neck.
Clearly, with that service error putting NU ahead, 23-20, the mentor did not like his girls giving away a point with the two teams so close to each other. “Crucial e. nakapanghihinayang lang kasi ‘di bale nang mamatay sa paluan, wag lang sa service. Yun ang nakakapagpatay sa amin e kaya as much as possible, e iwasan,” he said post-game.
Indeed, FEU would go on to drop the second set and find itself in a tied match.
He then continued, “Kaya ganun yung reaction ko, pero out of nowhere yun.”
Apparently, Pascua did not even realize what he was actually doing and did not realize that it was caught by cameras. “’Di ko naman alam kasi ‘di ko nakita sa screen. ‘Di ko rin naman sinasadya,” he told reporters.
Little did he know that his gesture would actually fire up his players into redeeming themselves.
As Pons, the player who had the service error, put it, “Nakita ko (yung ginawa ni coach) kasi ako nag-serve e. Siyempre, crucial yun kasi lagi ngang sinasabi ni coach na talagang nakakabago ng momentum yung ganun.”
She then continued, “Pero after nang nangyaring yun, andun na yung drive ko na babawi ako.”
That, Pons did and together with Chinchin Basas, fronted the Lady Tamaraws’ unstoppable charge in the third and fourth sets.
In the end, Pons scored 18 points and delivered whenever her team needed it while Basas scattered 16 markers of her own.
And in the end, FEU triumphed the once unbeaten Lady Bulldogs in four sets.
All that, because their head coach showed that each and every point matters in a heavyweight bout between contenders.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.