Pons eyes revenge against La Salle in FEU title bid
The finals series of the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament isn’t just about the matchup between defending champion De La Salle and the league’s winningest team in Far Eastern University.
On a larger scale this would pit two of the most successful schools in a finals rematch that waited 10 years to happen, but on the micro level there is another narrative that had brewed in a matter of months.
La Salle, a 10-time champion, beat 29-time champion FEU twice in the eliminations and those losses have lit a fire inside Bernadeth Pons that the skipper of the Lady Tamaraws plan on unleashing in the finals.
“I’m excited to get back at La Salle,” said Pons in Filipino Wednesday at FEU in a chat with Inquirer.
The two FEU-La Salle matches in the eliminations were undoubtedly classics with both games ending in fives sets and the Tamaraws can add to thatrivalry on Saturday in the first game of the championship round.
Pons averaged 18.5 points in those two matches and she is determined to avenge those losses against a La Salle team that has appeared in the championship round for 10 straight seasons.
“Those matches in the first and second rounds were really close and it’s just unfortunate that we lost both,” said Pons, who is playing on her first title series. “I’m really excited to take those losses back against La Salle.”
Pons, could be playing in the last three games of her collegiate career, is aware of the disparity between the experience levels of the two teams but the outgoing Lady Tamaraw said they can counteract it through sheer unflappable will.
FEU last won the title in Season 70 and last appeared in the finals in Season 71 where it lost to, as fate had it, La Salle.
“Yes they’re well ahead in terms of experience because they’ve been fighting for the championship for so long but we’re always reminded that we should fight for every point,” said Pons.
“La Salle won’t stop until the end, so we should triple our effort because this is our first time going into the finals.”