UAAP Season 81: Bolder, fiercer FEU Lady Tamaraws
Mark Escarlote on Feb 14, 2019 01:54 PM
A more experienced and bolder Far Eastern University is set to charge in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament.
Far Eastern University may have fallen short in its title campaign last year but the valuable lessons the Lady Tamaraws gained are sure to help them in their journey in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
“Magandang nangyari na nakapasok kami sa finals after 10 years and then ‘yung experience na gusto namin at that point, malaking bagay ‘yun,” said FEU head coach George Pascua.
The Morayta-based squad returned to the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 2008, but grand slam champion De La Salle University exploited the Lady Tams’ inexperience to sweep its way to the throne.
It was heartbreaking for FEU but it also equipped the Lady Tams with the much-needed experience for the battles ahead.
“Season 80 ‘yun ‘yung parang turning point namin. Kumbaga, nagkaroon na kami ng idea. Nagkaroon na ng self-confidence ‘yung mga players,” said Pascua. “So looking forward pa rin kami na mag-bounce back (this season).”
But FEU will have to go to war without its leading scorer in Bernadeth Pons and libero Kyla Atienza, who played their final year of eligibility last season, and veteran Chin-Chin Basas, who sustained a shoulder injury during her stint in the Philippine Superliga in the pre-season.
“So ‘yun ‘yung ano namin, ‘yun ‘yung dapat namin ma-cope up,” said Pascua. “‘Di lang kasi sa skill mapapakinabangan ‘yung tatlo. Even the leadership (nila) is kailangan.”
Still, the mentor is still optimistic of their chances with the arrival of promising new recruits in hitter Lycha Ebon, who had a good performance during the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference where FEU finished as runner-up, Elize Ronquillo and Lyka Bautista
“Very competitive naman (ang mga rookies),” said Pascua.
With the departure of Pons and Atienza and the unavailability of Basas, the responsibility to step up and lead the team now rest on the hands of the remaining holdovers from last season.
The Lady Tams will pin their hopes on seasoned and battle-tested players in Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o, Kyle Negrito and libero Buding Duremdes.
“Of course ‘yung mga veterans like si Jerrili. Si Heather, at saka si Kyle. Ano naman, kasi ang ine-emphasize namin is ‘yung teamwork eh,” said Pascua. “Kami, we work as a team. So yun ‘yung binubuo namin.”
With a good mix of veterans and rookies, Pascua is confident that his wards will get to complete an unfinished business this time.
“Siyempre, knowing naman na FEU, powerhouse na tayo. Siguro i-try namin na i-workout ‘yung FEU on top,” he said. “Kasi ‘yun naman ang absolute goal namin eh: na ibalik ulit sa Morayta ang korona.”
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