Lady Tamaraws continue to show clutch gene in another 5-set conquest
MANILA, Philippines—If there’s one team who has proved it can endure a five-setter, it’s Far Eastern University.
Of the four teams in the semifinals of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament, the Lady Tamaraws have the most experience in that nerve-wracking frame.
FEU’s 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8 victory over Ateneo to stretch its semifinals series was its seventh five-set win against just one loss, making the Lady Tamaraws the most successful team when a match goes to the full extent.
Lady Tamaraws head coach George Pascua said the Lady Tamaraws have been preparing for that kind of pressure-packed scenario whole season long.
“We always practice this in training, the fifth sets, just in case we arrive at this kind of a scenario,” said Pascua in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “That’s why I’ really not worried if ever we lost in the earlier sets because what’s important for us is how we finish.”
Compared to the other Final Four contenders, Ateneo owns a 2-1 slate in extended matches while University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle have done 1-1 and 0-3 cards, respectively.
“I know that they can handle the pressure because we always practice this in training,” said Pascua.
FEU displayed tremendous courage during the fifth set, effectively erased the bitter memory that is the fourth set, where the Lady Tamaraws were at the Lady Eagles’ mercy and absorbed seven service aces.
FEU, though, had the last laugh when it closed out the match on an 8-1 run forcing a rubber match with Ateneo on Wednesday for a spot in the best-of-three finals.
“I asked them [after the fourth set] if they really want this win, because it’s important for us to play in terms of what they want,” said Pascua, whose Lady Tamaraws came into the Final Four at a twice-to-beat disadvantage.
“I told my players to claim this game because it’s not over yet. The important thing for us is to show the eagerness and willingness to win.”