Finals pressure, La Salle’s championship poise too much for Basas, FEU in Game 1
Toni Rose Basas was never the most emotional player in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, so when she played her first game in the championship round the pressure-filled atmosphere almost rattled her off her sneakers.
The fourth-year hitter has so far appeared in three Final Fours with Far Eastern University but her arrival in the biggest of stages threw her off.
And as she tried to thrive in the new experience, the players across from her inside Smart Araneta Coliseum looked as composed as if they were still playing in the first round.
Basas said she didn’t see any form of uncertainty in the faces of the De La Salle Lady Spikers, unlike the Lady Tamaraws, who looked to cower under the immense pressure of the finals.
“They looked like that they were really used to playing in the finals and under this kind of environment,” said Basas in Filipino Saturday after FEU lost Game 1 in three sets, 29-27, 25-21, 25-22.
“Even though we held the lead at some stretches of the game, they didn’t stop, they were really focused on getting the win.”
The Lady Tamaraws built a sizeable 8-3 lead at the start of the third set and nursed it well into the midpoint of the period when they had a 15-12 lead.
La Salle, however, showed its championship mettle with Kianna Dy capping off the Lady Spikers’ 9-2 run that gave the defending champions the 21-17 lead.
Basas added the atmosphere and the crowd that reached 14,293 people also overwhelmed her quiet personality.
“There were so many people and my mind was just swirling with thoughts like ‘is this the finals?’” said Basas, who had six points in the loss. “It was so loud that I can’t even describe it.”