MANILA, Philippines – Toni Rose “Chinchin” Basas heard the call from head coach George Pascua and quickly acted on it.
Thanks to her 17-point outing, Basas turned out to be the “X-factor” in the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws’ return to the finals after 9 seasons.
“Sabi ko nga kahapon, Chin, kailangan kita mag-step up para kahit papaano, maba-balanse ang opensa natin, hindi lang lagi kay Pons,” said Pascua.
(I told Chin yesterday that I needed her to step up in any way to balance our offense. It can’t be Pons all the time.)
After clinching a Final 4 berth with a win over the Adamson Lady Falcons, Basas failed to post double-digit marks in her last two games. This prompted Pascua to give her a little push before their semis clash with Ateneo.
“Sabi lang ni coach na ‘wag naming isipin na may twice-to-beat kami, isipin lang namin na do-or-die, kaya ganoon din ang nilaro namin,” said Basas
(Coach told us to not think that we have the twice-to-beat advantage, we have to think that this is a do-or-die game that’s why this was how we played a while ago.)
The FEU Lady Tamaraws ended the Ateneo vs La Salle finals era, as the two schools have faced each other for 6 straight years.
Basas still has one more year of eligibility left while FEU captain Bernadeth Pons and libero Kyla Atienza are savoring their last few games with the Morayta-based squad. Basas and the rest of the team are offering each game to the seniors who will bid them good bye soon.
“Opo, [pabaon namin sa seniors ito], kasi ‘yun nga last playing year na nila, so kailangan paghirapan namin sa training para magawa namin nang maayos sa game,” said Basas.
(This is our farewell gift to our seniors because this is their last playing year, so we have to work hard in training so that we can play well in the game.)
The Lady Tamaraws have yet to find out who their finals opponent will be. The winner of the semis series between the reigning champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers and the National University Lady Bulldogs will face FEU in the finals on Saturday, April 28, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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