The end comes for every student-athlete’s collegiate career. And one can only hope that it will come to a meaningful conclusion.
For the seniors of Far Eastern University — namely JP Bugaoan, Jude Garcia, Peter Quiel, Cian Silang, and Owen Suarez — their desired ending would have been as champions of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Volleyball Tournament. It would be the fitting send-off for a quintet who received a heartbreaking fate in the season prior.
Instead, they saw their hard work and aspirations wiped out in an instant after the league made an inevitable decision in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Having a hard time processing the abrupt end, the seniors couldn’t keep a tight rein on their emotions the moment they heard of the decision.
“Naging emotional ang seniors natin nung malaman na end na ang season,” Tamaraws head coach Rey Diaz shared.
Diaz and his coaching staff reminded their veterans that this is not the end of their respective careers. Regardless of whether the league would allow players to extend their eligibility, the coaches will always have their backs — be it in the collegiate circuit or professional scene.
“Sabi nga ng mga coaches sa kanila hindi nman dito nagtatapos ang careers nila,” Diaz bared. “Patuloy din kasi ang monitoring sa strength and conditioning ng players natin. Siyempre may kanya kanyang plano din sila pagka-graduate nila sa ngayon support muna tayo sa plan nila kung ano mang maging desisyon nila rerespetuhin natin.
“Although some of them nagsabi na tutulong pa rin sila sa team at kung may pagkakataon e lalaruin nila, ‘yung iba pinagiisipan pa nila.”
More than anything, the Tamaraws understand that the drastic action done by the league was all for the safety of the community. To that end, their main focus is to keep their health in check in these trying times, all the while hoping for the best.
“Ang mahalaga naman ngayon e kung pano natin malalampasan ang crisis na kinakaharap natin,” Diaz said.
“Sa ngayon, tuloy lang muna ang monitoring natin sa safety ng players at family nila. Pag okay na ang sitwasyon, back to the drawing board.”