George Pascua beaming with pride for Lady Tamaraws for a season well done
MANILA, Philippines—It would’ve been easy to rule out Far Eastern University inthe UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament after what transpired in 2018.
Bernadeth Pons, Season 80’s fourth-best scorer with a total of 215 points, left the Lady Tamaraws due to graduation while the team’s second-leading scorer Toni Rose Basas, who amassed 164 points, didn’t suit up due to injury.
Those departures, however, did not stop FEU, last year’s silver medalist, from still being a serious title contender and getting back into the Final Four.
Even the injury to rookie Lycha Ebon did not slow the Lady Tamaraws, who clinched fourth seed and set up a meet with Ateneo in the Final Four.
“I’m very proud of my players because they did well and it’s been a tough journey for us especially with what we’ve went through,” said FEU head coach George Pascua.
“There were injuries, players who left, and yet they still fought to the best of their capabilities.”
Against the no. 1 Lady Eagles who had a twice-to-beat edge, FEU showed the grit they’ve showcased all-season long, dragging the Final Four showdown to a Game 2.
While Ateneo snuffed FEU’s hopes of returning to the title round with a 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8 clincher, the Lady Tamaraws have already proved their worth.
What kept the team rising through the ranks were seniors Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o, and Kyle Negrito.
Guino-o finished the elimination round as the seventh-best scorer with 179 points while Malabanan, the team’s captain, remained consistent throughout with a total of 119 points.
Negrito orchestrated the team’s offense and was the fifth best setter with 4.7 excellent sets per frame.
“I’ve already thanked my seniors since the beginning,” said Pascua. “They were already there to support me as early as the team building exercises and they wanted to achieve some unfinished business from a season ago and that was to win the championship.”
“It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t do it but of course I’m still proud of them for being the Ates of the team.”