At one point, the Far Eastern University looked to be in the worst spot among a crowd scrambling for Final Four position.
But the Lady Tamaraws are finally piecing things together. If their win against the National University on Wednesday afternoon was any indication, FEU are now in the best spot to make the Final Four.
The Lady Tamaraws swept the Lady Bulldogs, their first straight-sets win in the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball Tournament. Head coach George Pascua hopes this is the turning point he’s been looking for from the Lady Tamaraws since their first match.
“‘Yung laro na ito para sa kanila. Dapat sila mismo ang mag-initiate, sila mismo ang mag-lead,” said Pascua of his rejuvenated veterans.
“Maganda, Maganda ang nangyayari ngayon kasi nga na-achieve na namin. Hopefully, ma-sustain lang namin yung momentum.”
Graduating wingers Heather Guino-O and Jerilli Malabanan have been kicking FEU’s offense into gear lately. Against NU, Guino-O provided an efficient 11 points, while Malabanan added 10.
“Siyempre, sabi ko nga sa mga players, one at a time lang. Kung sino ang kalaban, focus.
“Siyempre kailangan andoon pa rin yung ano namin… mataas ang commitment level namin, yung energy level namin sa game. Pinlano naman namin yan, then execute lang kami,” the FEU standout continued.
The pair, however, emphasize the weight of their next two games. A win against either the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday or against the De La Salle University on April 28 propels them to the Final Four.
“Sobrang halaga ng last two games namin kasi dito na namin malalaman kung gaano kami katapang, para kumapit hanggang dulo. Dito na namin kailangan ipakita talaga kung ano ‘yung kakayahan ng team,” said Guino-O.
“So just one game at a time. Next game, UST – that’s what we’re focused on now, not the two games.”
Pascua hopes this mindset continues to be seared into his team.
“Mind-setting lang, kung sino ang kalaban. Kasi mahirap kung gusto naming kalaban si ganito. Kung sino yung kakaharapin namin, yun ang paplanuhin. Another game plan.”