There was no sweeter way to win a first career championship for FEU spikers JP Bugaoan and Jude Garcia.
“Sobrang overwhelmed. Ito nga first championship ko, first championship ng mga ka-batch ko sa FEU. Sobrang saya sa feeling na binigay ko lahat ng natutunan ko dito” said Garcia afterwards.
The last time the duo fought for a title was in UAAP Season 81. Back then, they battled a powerhouse National University Bulldogs squad with the core of Bryan Bagunas, Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, and Madz Gampong.
NU went on to sweep the series, claiming their fourth title in seven straight Finals appearances – and leaving Bugaoan and Garcia hungry for a title.
And just when they thought that revenge wasn’t possible – as NU’s quartet had graduated – the FEU tandem got their chance when they faced the Go For Gold-Air Force Jet Spikers in the Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference Finals.
Bagunas had already been part of the Air Force squad that won it all in last year’s Reinforced Conference. This time, he had Malabunga, Saura, and Gampong to bolster the Jet Spikers’ title bid.
Safe to say, Bugaoan and Garcia made the most out of their chance as the two were pivotal in Cignal’s title-bid
“Sobrang saya kasi akala namin hindi na kami makakabawi, pero ngayong [Spikers’ Turf] nabawian namin sila,” exclaimed Bugaoan.
“So ano… Payback time, kumbaga.”
Garcia provided the much-needed support for Marck Espejo in the scoring department – tallying 19 points built on 17 attacks. Meanwhile, Bugaoan manned the net with 13 markers, which included four blocks to help the HD Spikers dethrone the Jet Spikers.
But beyond their own personal vendetta, FEU’s 1-2 punch were just glad to help out their brothers in Cignal to claim their own revenge against the same team that denied them the hardware a year ago.
“Masaya kasi lahat naman kami, ‘di lang ako yung gustong makabawi. Si kuya Marck [Espejo], si kuya Ysay [Marasigan], lahat ng teammates ko gustong makabawi. So sobrang sarap na nakabawi kami kila Bryan [Bagunas],” Garcia said.
“Overwhelming kasi first time ko mag-champion dito sa [Spikers’ Turf]. Ito yung first time ko talaga so ang sarap sa feeling kasi nakabawi na yung Cignal and nakatulong kami doon,” Bugaoan added.
With plenty of experience now under their belt, the two will channel it as motivation to lead the Tamaraws in their upcoming UAAP Season 82 campaign.
“Ngayon champion kami, best experience ‘to para sa next UAAP season, para paghandaan yung mga laban namin. At sisiguraduhin namin na hindi kami basta-basta bibigay,” said Bugaoan.
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