All throughout the season, Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws head coach George Pascua has always been open and candid that their goals for the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament are to first, be in the finals, and second, get the championship.
They hit their first goal, but they eventually fell short of toppling the De La Salle University Lady Spikers. Nonetheless, the first year head coach of the Lady Tamaraws sees the silver lining in the experience.
“Napakalaking bagay ng nangyari ngayon, at least na-test na namin yung character ng players namin na pwede pa lang abutin by next year yung talagang objective namin,” Pascua said.
“Kasi how many years na wala kami sa finals. Yung experience na yun, yun ang magbibigay ulit sa amin by next year kung gaano katibay yung mga players ko.”
The Lady Tamaraws’ last finals appearance was way back in Season 71. After nine long years, they finally found themselves back on the big stage.
As expected, the feeling was foreign to them.
“Knowing naman La Salle, back-to-back champion, they know how to handle yung ganung situation, na-manage naman nila. So kami siguro, sa experience nagkulang kami.”
But now with a fresh finals experience under their belts, the Lady Tamaraws will treat this as a learning curve to bounce back next season.
They may be losing their leader Bernadeth Pons to graduation this year, but the Tamaraws gained an experience that will be valuable for their Season 81 campaign.
Entering Pascua’s second year of coaching, he still has an intact core in Celine Domingo, Chinchin Basas, Heather Guino-o, and Kyle Negrito. Adding to that promising lineup is a finals experience.
“For me, it’s another achievement sa team kasi first year pa lang, na-achieve na namin though hindi kami nag-champion,” shared the FEU legend. “Siyempre umpisa pa lang, sabi ko sa kanila basta tatrabahuhin namin kung anong makakaya namin and then siguro, tatanggapin na lang namin kung ano yung ibinigay sa amin.
“Then by next year, hopefully ma-reach namin yung goal namin. ‘Di kami hihinto hangga’t hindi namin nare-reach yun.”