- October 27, 2017 19:12
By Gio Carlo D. Castro
Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw Spikers edged out the National University (NU) Bulldogs in a deciding set, 21-19, 19-21, 15-11, in the 82nd season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s beach volleyball tournament, September 25 at the SM Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.
With its three-game winning streak, FEU head coach Reynaldo Diaz Jr. expressed that their victory against Bulldogs served as a wake-up call for the team to improve their game plan.
“Magandang experience para sa team. Magandang wake-up call din siguro para makita namin kung ano pa yung kulang natin, kung saan pa tayo nag-e-error(It was a good experience for the team. [I think] it was also a wake-up call to see what we lack, where we still commit an error)," Diaz said.
After FEU registered an early 4-0 run in the first frame, a back-and-forth scoring affair took place against the Bulldogs. An error on NU’s James Natividad spared the tandem of Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon from a match point, 20-18.
It was on the second frame when the Jhocson-based duo of Natividad and James Buytrago stole the lead at 11-12. A smart move from Garcia then stopped the bleeding for FEU, 14-16, but the momentum stayed within Bulldogs.
Moreover, despite losing their rally, Coach Diaz applauded how his players grip tightly all throughout the match against one of the veteran teams in UAAP sands.
“Maganda dun syempre nakita natin ‘yung kapit nung [dalawa] kasi beterano rin talaga ‘yung kalaban natin. (We witnessed how [Garcia and Hadlocon] held tight because our opponent is also a veteran [team]),” he said.
The Morayta-based duo showed no mercy in the deciding frame as FEU chipped in a 10-3 advantage, courtesy of Garcia’s great net defense. Hadlocon then found the right spot to put the Bulldogs back in cage at 12-5.
The Tamaraw Spikers are currently atop of standings tied with the defending champions University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tiger Spikers at a 3-0 win-loss record.
FEU will next face the winless Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and the lone-win De La Salle University (DLSU) respectively on Saturday morning and afternoon, September 28 at the same venue.
(See full album: UAAP 82 Men's Beach Volleyball - FEU vs NU)