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FEU rooks Encarnacion, Panangin, Devosora prove Salak’s gamble right


It was the rookies that shone the brightest during Far Eastern University’s five-setter escape of Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday.

The Lady Tamaraws seemed to have it all under control after a dominating first set, 25-12, but the Blue Eagles bounced back with stronger second and third sets, 25-15, 25-19, respectively.

Then head coach Tina Salak just gave the responsibility of finishing the game to her rookies. And they delivered.

Gerzel Petallo replaced Chenie Tagaod, while Mitzi Panangin, Alyzza Devosora, and Marga Encarnacion kept their place and produced in the clutch.UAAP-85-WVB-ADMU-vs-FEU-Tina-Salak FEU rooks Encarnacion, Panangin, Devosora prove Salak's gamble right FEU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Thankful ako sa mga freshmen ko like Mitzi, Marga, Gerzel, Alyzza. Nag step up sila para sa team. Hindi ko ineexpect pero I’m very proud kung ano yung pinakita ng mga freshmen na talagang sila yung bumuhat sa seniors,” said Salak after the win.

“Sila yung nandoon eh. Nandoon yung presence nila so priority ko sila. Hindi ko naman sinasabi na wala yung mga seniors pero sense of urgency kailangan eh. Sila yung ready and very thankful talaga ako sa kanila na kahit na freshmen sila, nagampanan nila yung role nila.”

Panangin, Petallo, and Devosora combined for nine of the 18 points of the Lady Tamaraws in the fifth, with Petallo coming away with the game-winner – a single block on AC Miner’s running attack.

Encarnacion, meanwhile, was all over the floor receiving the heavy spikes of Ateneo’s Faith Nisperos, Lyann De Guzman, and Vanie Gandler.

Even though she delivered when called upon, Panangin admitted post-game that she felt nervous in the fifth frame against a formidable Blue Eagles squad.UAAP-85-WVB-ADMU-vs-FEU-Encarnacion-Panangin FEU rooks Encarnacion, Panangin, Devosora prove Salak's gamble right FEU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

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“Kinakabahan po ako non kasi crucial na po pero ginawa ko lang din po yung best ko para makatulong sa team. Hindi po namin magagawa yun kung hindi po kami buo as a team,” said Panangin who got 11 points including three blocks.

But a calming voice on the floor was Encarnacion, who rallied her troops when Ateneo kept climbing back.

“Sinasabi ko po palagi sa loob na relax lang, atin ito hindi pa ito tapos sa atin ito mapupunta,” said the 18-year-old libero who dazsled with 35 digs and 12 excellent receptions.

Devosora finished with 13 points while Petallo had nine points in just three sets of play.

With the victory, FEU improved to 2-2 and Salak hopes that this is just the start of a winning streak.

“Maging lesson din ito sa players at sa team na hindi dapat makafeel o hindi dapat masanay na laging matatalo. Believe in themselves na kaya namin, beatable lahat eh may doubt lang sila kung paano nila gagawin,” said the FEU great.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.


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