UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU guns for first Finals stint in almost a decade
Mark Escarlote on Apr 21, 2018 07:59 AM
Can Far Eastern University end a nine-year championship appearance drought?
Twice-to-beat Far Eastern University bids to make a return trip to the Finals for the first time after almost a decade when the Lady Tamaraws face Ateneo de Manila University in the semifinals of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game time is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA on SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD on SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.
The Lady Tams are just a win away from making it into the championship round for the first time since the Rachel Anne Daquis-led FEU squad’s runner-up finish in Season 71.
The Morayta-based squad finished the elimination round with a 10-4 win-loss record.
FEU is riding the crest of a four-game winning streak including a four-set victory over no. 4 seed National University to cap the elims.
The Lady Tams are armed with a huge semis bonus – the team’s first since Season 71.
“So 'yung pagkakataon na binigay sa amin, hindi na namin siya pakakawalan,” said FEU coach George Pascua, who is looking to steer the Lady Tams to their 30th crown overall.
But it will take a lot of hard work from graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons, Celine Domingo, Toni Basas and setter Kyle Negrito to boot out the Lady Eagles.
The two squads split their elims head-to-head with FEU winning in five sets in the season opener before Ateneo exacted revenge in a sweeping fashion in the second round.
Ateneo has its back against the wall for the first time since Season 76, when the Lady Eagles needed to survive three do-or-die stepladder matches and four grueling Finals games against De La Salle University to win a breakthrough title.
The Lady Eagles are on a two-game, back-to-back straight-set defeats against University of the Philippines and the Lady Spikers as they closed the elims with a 9-5 card.
If needed, Game 2 of the semis is on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The winner of the semis pairing will face the survivor between twice-to-beat grand slam-seeking DLSU and NU.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles