- August 28, 2016 16:12
By Aimerose C. Atienza and Adrian Earl E. Taruc
The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws shared the mixture of emotions, preparations, and challenges that they have encountered in light of the upcoming University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84 women’s volleyball tourney which will commence on May 5 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
After two years of no volleyball action, the green-and-gold lady spikers will be back on the court and will try to claim the university’s 30th women’s volleyball championship title.
“Mixed emotion[s] dahil ang tagal na nawala [ng UAAP] (because the UAAP was gone for a long time). Excited [and] at the same time ay mas (it is more) intense kasi (since) every other day may game kami (we have a game). Unlike before na mayroon kang preparation ng (you have a preparation of) two days [or] three days,” Lady Tams Head Coach George Pascua shared in an online interview with FEU Advocate.
During the lockdown, the Pascua-led team did its preparations with virtual training and an online recruitment process to complete the lineup. However, coach Pascua mentioned that the start of the post-pandemic training has put all players to square one and they have to make the most out of it.
“Hindi naman kami nag-stop. During pandemic naman, mayroon kaming online training. Syempre, iba pa rin ‘yung face-to-face [training] para ‘yung chemistry, ‘yung individual skills ma-test namin kasi sa online, we're on physical conditioning lang eh tapos limited lang ‘yung equipment (We did not stop. Even during the pandemic, we have online training. Of course, the face-to-face training is still different so that we can test the chemistry and the individual skills because through online, we’re only on physical conditioning and there is limited equipment),” Pascua said.
Early this year, the Lady Tamaraws already started their bubble setup training at the FEU Cavite campus.
The Morayta spikers considered the high-level intensity of the matches for this season, especially with the tight schedule of the tournament and the rookie-filled lineup for its training in preparation for the return of the collegiate tournament.
“Inaayon namin [ang training] sa simulation ng game, halimbawa ‘pag 10 [in the morning ang game], start na kami ng [training] 10 [in the morning] pati 'yung rest and recovery ng players kasi kailangan ‘pag maglalaro kahit papano ay healthy pa rin kasi sunod-sunod 'yung game eh (We train according to the simulation of the game like if we have a game at 10 in the morning, we start training at 10 in the morning with the rest and recovery of the players because when they play, they still need to be healthy since the games are one after another),” he stated.
Now that the women’s volleyball tournament is set to happen, Pascua acknowledges the hardships to their path set to play a pivotal effect in their campaign to reach the coveted championship crown.
“‘Yung pinaghahandaan namin ngayon ‘yung assimilation ng tournament, ‘yung mga strategy namin syempre, ‘yung adjustment medyo mahirap kasi everyday o every game, iba ‘yung kalaban. (What we are preparing now are the assimilation of the tournament, our strategies, of course. The adjustment is a bit difficult because every day or every game the opponent is different),” Pascua shared.
Coach Pascua also shared that they are having a hard time adjusting to the protocols as it limits their movement in scheduling tuneup games.
“Before, nakaka-tuneup kami ng malakas na teams. Ngayon-ngayon, limitado ‘yung kilos namin eh. Hindi kami basta-basta nakaka-tuneup kasi ‘yun nga may mga standard protocol[s] na sinusunod. So, medyo mahirap siya kasi once na wala kaming maka-tuneup, ‘yung adjustment mahirap kapain (Before we could tune-up strong teams. Nowadays, our actions are limited. We can't just tuneup because there are standard protocols that are followed. So, it's a bit difficult because once we can't tune-up, the adjustment is difficult),” he added.
Coming into the season, another challenge that the Lady Tams will face is the long travel time from FEU Cavite as they were instructed by the FEU management to stay at the Cavite campus for the duration of the volleyball tournament.
Coach Pascua mentioned that the whole team may already feel exhausted even before their matches.
Despite all these adversities, Coach George continues to motivate the volleybelles of the green-and-gold to just keep on playing for their teammates and for FEU.
“Para sa pride na ibibigay nila sa school… labanan ng pride kasi sa bawat school so kahit papano hindi dapat sila maghanap ng excuses, laban kung laban (It is for the pride that they will give to the school… it will be a battle of prides for every school so they should at least seek no excuses, fight if they have to fight),” he said.
The Morayta lady spikers will finally showcase their skills on the UAAP volleyball court as a season opener against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses on May 5 at MOA Arena.
(File Photo by Precious Diamond Farro/FEU Advocate)