UAAP Season 81: Starless FEU, a good problem
Mark Escarlote on Feb 14, 2019 03:58 PM
Far Eastern University players will have to trust each other this UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament with the absence of their stars from last year's core.
Far Eastern University lost two of its primary scoring options from last year but veteran setter Kyle Negrito sees it as a good problem heading into the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Tamaraws saw the exit of open spiker Bernadeth Pons last year and will miss the services of opposite hitter Chin-chin Basas due to a shoulder injury. The duo had a combined 27 points per game average in Season 80.
For Negrito, the absence of their stars opens a window for others to step up and it could be an advantage for FEU rather than a handicap.
“Ang nakikita ko pong kagandahan ng team namin ngayon is ‘yun nga, parang walang pinaka-ano talaga, pinaka-star player. So, kami bilang player, parang goal namin sa sarili namin na parang maka-contribute kami in any way,” she said.
“Kailangan, kami sa sarili namin, alam namin na dapat naaasahan kami,” added Negrito, who averaged 6.79 excellent sets per frame last season.
FEU is coming into the season full of confidence after its runner-up finish last year – the Lady Tams first championship appearance since winning it all a decade ago.
“Last season po, syempre, umabot kami ng Finals so para sa akin, ‘yun ‘yung pinakamaganda talagang nangyari sa team namin, is ‘yung nakarating kami ng Finals,” said Negrito.
The lessons they learned last season and in their pre-season performances including a runner-up finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, Negrito added, geared them up for the battles ahead.
“Syempre po, ayaw naman namin babaan ‘yung narating namin last year. Kung kayang… syempre, kung kayang i-maintain or talagang mag-champion, talagang pipilitin po naming mag-champion,” Negrito said.
Aside from Negrito, other veteran returnees are Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o and libero Buding Duremdes. Promising rookies led by Lycha Ebon are expected to make their presence felt for the George Pascua-mentored squad.
This year, Negrito vowed, the Lady Tams will keep on charging.
“Ngayong season, season lang with no regrets. Talagang all-out every training, every game. No regrets season,” she said.
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