UAAP Season 81: Na-overwhelm sila -- Pascua on distracted FEU
Mark Escarlote on Apr 15, 2019 01:01 PM
Nakita ko ‘yung body language nila, mahirap man sabihin in reality, parang masaya sila na natalo si UP -- FEU coach George Pascua referring to the Lady Tams' loss of focus after getting a free ride to the Final Four following University of the Philippines' loss to National University
Far Eastern University head coach George Pascua felt that his wards got drowned by excitement and were overwhelmed by the fact that the Lady Tamaraws already clinched a Final Four spot even before stepping inside the court to face University of Sto. Tomas.
The Lady Tamaraws got a free pass into the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball semifinals on Sunday after National University ousted University of the Philippines in the Final Four race. FEU and the Tigresses joined Ateneo de Manila University and three-time defending champion De La Salle University in the next round.
But that Lady Bulldogs' victory became the Lady Tams’ undoing.
They celebrated prematurely and now have to face the consequences of putting their guards down.
Pascua felt it took the focus out of FEU as the Morayta-based squad absorbed a 23-25, 18-25, 23-25, beating at the hands of Tigresses.
“Nakita ko ‘yung body language nila, mahirap man sabihin in reality, parang masaya sila na natalo si UP,” rued Pascua.
“Pero hindi naman ‘yung hinahangad namin eh. Hinahangad namin talunin pa rin si UST. Hindi ko alam anong nangyari,” he added. “Ako rin tinanong ko rin sila, siguro masyado silang na-excite nu’ng malaman nila na ganoon ang magiging sitwasyon.”
Pascua lamented that all their preparations for their meeting with UST went down the drain as his players relaxed knowing that they are already through to their fifth straight Final Four appearance.
“Na-overwhelm sila. Yun ang nakita ko kasi hindi ko nakita ‘yung training namin talaga na game plan namin sa UST. Nu’ng third set na lang pero late na. ‘Yung aggressiveness nawala parang, ‘Uy, OK na kasi pasok na tayo’. Parang ganoong attitude ba?” said Pascua.
“Pero siyempre ayaw ko naman silang i-judge,” he continued. “Baka the way around baka talagang yung laro minsan nago-off. Pero siyempre yung scenario na nangyari kanina siguro maliit na factor ‘yun na natalo ang UP.”
Now with an 8-5 win-loss record and already locked at the number four spot in semis against the yet to be determined top seed, FEU now shifts its focus on closing the elimination round on April 28 on a high note against three-time defending champion De La Salle University in a rematch of last year’s Finals series.
“Naka-secure naman ng top four pero ang target sana namin at least mag-no. 2. Siguro may purpose kaya nangyari ang mga bagay-bagay. Pero siyempre ang kakaharapin namin mas matindi pa,” he said.
“Final Four ready for battle na ‘yan, no excuses na yan, kasi alam mo na kung sino ang makakalaban mo, kumbaga naka-focus ka na sa iisang team,” added Pascua.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles