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Hortaleza braces for future as Final Four hopes dim for Lady Tams

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The second round of the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament was not even about trying to make it to the Final Four for the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

After a disappointing first round where the team managed to win only one game against University of the Philippines while dropping six assignments, last year’s finalists were just hoping to end a string of losses and to their win total before the season ends.

Ericka Hortaleza helped fuel FEU to a 48-39 win over Adamson University last Thursday. The sophomore guard scored 7 points, all in the third quarter where the Lady Tamaraws outscored the Lady Falcons, 20-8.

Later, she said the Lady Tamaraws, which improved to 2-7 in the team standings after the game, were just fighting for pride.

“Sa second round, wala nang pag-asa e. Yung pride na lang ang pinaglalaban namin. Naka-mindset na lang kami na lahat ng tumalo sa amin babalikan namin. Makabawi man lang. Desidido kami,” Hortaleza shared.

“Yung first half namin nabigla kami, so sabi ng staff namin dahan-dahan lang nating ibaba ang score. One word lang sabi niya, composure. Composure lang, and ilaban natin.”

FEU had a 14-point turnaround after the first half, relying on transition offense and finishing strong around the rim.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Hortaleza braces for future as Final Four hopes dim for Lady Tams    As their lowly campaign heads to a dismal finish, the sophomore wing player wishes to use the remainder of the season to improve their skills and brace for the seasons to come.

“Pagbutihan na namin para sa next season. Mga bago kaming lahat so sukatan na namin to para sa next season. (Gusto ko) maranasan magchampion dito sa UAAP,” Hortaleza said.

Hortaleza is expected to be one of the leaders in the next few years, and she is already in the process of embracing the role.

“Nagpe-prepare na ako for next year para mabigay ko ang best ko. Dapat mapakita ko na yun.”

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