- October 24, 2023 13:27
Far Eastern University (FEU) men’s and women’s volleyball head coaches, Rei Diaz Jr. and George Pascua, have shown their support for former Tamaraws who made the cut for the national pool members.
The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) released the list last May 12 where it included FEU homegrown athletes Bernadeth Pons, JP Bugaoan, Jude Garcia, and Jessie Lopez.
Pons, former captain of Lady Tamaraws, was able to secure a spot again for the women's beach volleyball national team, following her success in claiming the bronze medal during the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for the same sport.
Pons spearheaded the Morayta-volleybelles into its first Finals appearance during the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 80 women’s volleyball tournament since season 71.
She also made a remarkable stint in UAAP women's beach volleyball tourney, gaining silver medals in seasons 78, 79, and 80.
The 24-year-old spiker is the only Lady Tamaraw who will be representing the country.
“Malaki improvement niya [sa] skills and leadership (She had a big improvement with her skills and leadership),” Pascua shared.
Looking back, Pascua also pointed out that he focused on the defensive and offensive areas of the Negros Occidental-native with her blocking and attacks on court.
While two standouts from the FEU Tamaraws season 82 roster, captain Bugaoan and Garcia made it to the men’s indoor volleyball and men’s beach volleyball team, respectively.
Diaz stated that he perceived Bugaoan and Garcia as competitive and brave players, which helped the two clinch a spot for the national team.
“Last 2019, we cancelled out our training to allow the players to join the tryout. Iba rin kasi ‘yung ma-experience nila ‘yung mga ganung bagay (It is still different for them to experience those things),” he added.
Former FEU Tamaraw and UAAP season 70 Best Setter, Jessie Lopez, will also join Bugaoan to banner the Philippine flag for indoor volleyball.
Leading up to their accomplishment, Diaz said that FEU has always been supportive of their current and former student-athletes.
Pascua also shared that motivating and explaining the purpose of the training to the players, keeping them disciplined, and making sure to follow the instructions are keys to equip the student-athletes to take it to the next level.
Furthermore, the FEU volleyball program has a holistic approach that touches on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of its players.
“Ever since naman maganda [ang] volleyball program ng FEU kasi ako, 12 years din ako sa national team (Ever since, the volleyball program of FEU has been remarkable since I have also been in the national team for 12 years),” Pascua said.
The system evidently worked on the likes of Pons, Bugaoan, Garcia, and Lopez as they showed great improvement with their volleyball skills from the collegiate to the international stage.
As the exceptional products of FEU volleyball will compete internationally, FEU also holds the same pride and glory that they bring to the country.
The national volleyball teams are set to train and prepare for the 2021 SEA Games which will commence this coming November in Hanoi, Vietnam.
“Aside from giving their best, don’t forget to enjoy, cherish the experience and don’t forget to give all praises and glory to our God,” Diaz advised.
-Aimerose C. Atienza
(FROM LEFT: File photos from Precious Diamond Farro/FEU Advocate and Audrey Vicencio/FEU Advocate)