The Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws have been perennial UAAP Final Four contenders, but never Finalists. One of the teams that always eliminated them was perennial finalists Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles.
Last season, FEU lost all three of their meetings against Ateneo — two five-setters in the elimination round, and a tight four-setter in the Final Four.
To start Season 80, the Lady Tamaraws got over that wall, slipping past the Lady Eagles in five sets. This was FEU’s first win against Ateneo since January 24, 2014 — a straight set win during the sophomore year of Alyssa Valdez.
Fourth-year open hitter Toni Basas pushed FEU to the win, nabbing three aces in the fifth set. Basas finished with 14 points, six coming off aces.
The soft-spoken winger downplayed her role in the win, asserting it was all a team effort.
“In-enjoy ko lang ‘yung laban. Sinusunod ko lang ‘yung sabi ng mga coaches. Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang ‘to para sa team,” said Basas.
Basas added that the Lady Tamaraws still have a lot to improve before they can think about the title.
“May mga kulang pa sa amin. Kailangan pa namin maging mas consistent,” the native of Tacloban insisted.
FEU head coach George Pascua lauded Basas, saying he expects her to have a great year.
“Kailangan namin maging ganyan si Basas. Isa na siya sa mga beterano sa team, kailangan namin ‘yung scoring niya and maturity niya sa loob ng court,” said the first-year Lady Tamaraws mentor.
“Kaya pa niyang lagpasan lahat ng na-achieve niya.”