UAAP 80 Volleyball Preview: New coach, same old legacy for FEU Tamaraws
Head coach: George Pascua
Last season: 8-6 (no.4)
Key holdovers: Jerrili Malabanan, Toni Rose Basas, Bernadeth Pons
Key losses: Remy Palma, Rosemarie Vargas
The league’s winningest team will parade a new coach for Season 80, but the new figurehead in Far Eastern University’s bench is well aware of the legacy draped in green-and-gold.
George Pascua, who took over the Lady Tamaraws’ head coaching duties from Shaq Delos Santos, is a former Tamaraw himself and he only has one goal for his beloved alma mater—win the top prize in Season 80 and deliver FEU its record 30th championship.
“There’s always FEU’s legacy in terms of women’s volleyball,” said Pascua in Filipino. “Now we have to meet those expectations from everyone watching us.”
“The team has the willingness, the hunger, the thirst to win games and maybe win another championship because FEU has always been a powerhouse team in the UAAP.”
Pascua will be leading a team that finished Season 79 at the fourth spot with an 8-6 record but bowed out to Ateneo in the Final Four.
What Pascua won’t be having this year, though, is the leadership and savvy of former captain Remy Palma who’ has already exhausted her five-year playing career with the Lady Tamaraws.
Pascua, though, looked at the absence of Palma as a new challenge for his team that still has the attacking capabilities of Bernadeth Pons, Jerrili Malabanan, and Toni Rose Basas.
“Of course Remy had that veteran presence and her leadership was the big factor that is lacking right now,” said Pascua who will now look to Pons to serve as his skipper. “I want Bernadeth to really take that leadership role and now that she’s in the position Remy once held, I know she can do a great job with it.”
And with a veteran core at his disposal, Pascua knows he won’t have a difficult time putting the mentality that already has a sense of urgency going into Season 80.
“Every game, I want them to think that it is a championship game,” said Pascua. “They should think that this will be their last game.”