FEU Lady Tamaraws get ready for playoffs clash with Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines – After securing a victory in their last elimination round game against National University, the Far Eastern Univesity (FEU) Lady Tamaraws have the momentum ahead of their playoff for a finals slot with the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
With their 4th straight win, the FEU Lady Tamaraws are the favorites to end the reigning finals matchup of Ateneo and De La Salle University, who have been facing each other since Season 76.
However, Ateneo and FEU took one game apiece from each other during the eliminations. Both teams have been head-to-head in the race for the twice-to-beat advantage since Ateneo's disappointing loss to the University of the Philippines.
"Manalo, matalo, sila pa rin ang kaharap namin eh. So starting tomorrow, ang focus namin is Ateneo kasi ang focus namin every practice, kung sino ang kalaban namin. After ng viewing, makikita din namin kung ano ang weakness at strength," said FEU head coach George Pascua.
(Win or lose, they're still the ones we will be facing. So starting tomorrow, our focus is Ateneo, because every practice, we focus on whoever our opponent is. After the viewing, we will see their weaknesses and strengths.)
Prior to the Final 4 era, FEU has been the dominating force of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament, tallying a total of 29 championships. Pascua is not just hopeful of ending the Ateneo-La Salle finals era – he's also aiming to bring back the title to Morayta.
If the Lady Tamaraws were to clinch the title in Season 80, they would end a 10-year championship drought and nab their 30th crown.
"Kahit noon pa naman kasi, ang volleyball ay FEU-UST [finals] sa babae. So gusto lang namin ibalik, unang-una, ang pressure dapat, sa mga players kasi [30th championship], tapos kami pa 'yung host," said Pascua.
(Even before, it's usually FEU-UST in the finals of women's volleyball. So we just want to bring back the pressure for the players because it would be our 30th championship, then we are also this season's hosts.)
From the start of the season, the Lady Tamaraws have been building up their skills for championship-level matches, making sure that they're able to close out games and not succumb to 5th-set pressure.
Graduating captain Bernadeth Pons is not only grateful for their 4-game winning streak to end the eliminations. She's also confident her team is willing to face the challenges ahead of them in the post-season.
"Na-ready naman kami ni coach, physically and mentally na ano 'yung possible na mangyari, na kung in case man na mag-playoffs or something, ready pa rin kami," said Pons.
(Coach prepared us physically and mentally for anything that's possible, so in case of playoffs or something, we'll be ready.) – Rappler.com