The Far Eastern University Tamaraws defeated the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles 5-2 to clinch their maiden win in the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Football Tournament. Goals from Val Jurao and Paolo Bugas helped the Tamaraws claim the win in style. It was a welcome result after the opening day stalemate with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, and no doubt the Tamaraws will want to kickstart their season from that moment on.
The noticeable improvements all boiled down to applying what the team had learned from their coach. Jurao explained “Ok naman kasi sa training namin gusto namin lumabas ang lahat ng tinuro ni Master Kim. Kaya ngayon na-achieve namin yung mga goal. Papasalamat lang po kami.” He then added that adjusting the training times for their 1:00PM games in McKinley also helped. “Yung trainings namin usually mornings tapos ayun nag-adjust kami ng training. Last week nagsimula kami mag training ng 1:00PM kaya medyo na-adapt na namin ngayon.”
Aside from the training regimen, Jurao felt that the Tamaraws’ attackers had worked harder than in their previous game against UP. “Lahat kami sa offense gumawa talaga kami para hindi masayang yung mga passes na through pass.”
Bugas agreed with his teammate’s assessment. “May team work kami ngayon kaysa dati. Kasi dati kanya-kanya kami and yung passes namin hindi ganon ka-successful so ngayon nag-adjust kami and sa training ginagawa namin yun.”
There was an air of satisfaction about the Tamaraws after the game. The team felt aggrieved after what they felt was faulty scheduling handed to them by UAAP Football hosts Ateneo. “Kase sa scheduling namin kailangan namin i-ano eh kaya ginawa namin ang lahat.”
Bugas went one step further than his teammate. “Motivated lang kami lahat sa nangyari last game and ayun nga, yung masasabi ko lang kailangan namin bawian ang Ateneo sa ginawa nila sa amin sa schedule which is… Lagi kasi ako nanonood ng movie and lagi kong naririnig yung word na karma which I really believe in karma and yan yung nag motivate sa akin na i-push yung mga teammates ko, i-push yung sarili ko to have a better performance.”
Another match standout for the Tamaraws was rookie Rico Andes. Andes scored one of the goals in the game and relentlessly tortured the Blue Eagles’ defense with his pace. Bugas was full of praise for Andes after the game and explained how the latter had joined the team. “Si Andes talaga track and field siya before so nag-switch lang siya sa Football. Mga late 4th year high school lang siya kinuha ni Master Kim so sa amin na talaga siya sumali.”
There is still a long way to go for the Tamaraws in their title defense. In the end, it’s all about taking the season one game at a time. “Kung ano yung naipakita namin ngayon, masgagalingan namin next game”, said Jurao. Bugas concurred with his teammate and also sought improvement. “Siguro to have a better performance than today. Mas motivated naman kami and nakikita ko sa teammates ko yung spirit ng defending champion talaga.”