FEU overcomes UP despite losing momentum in 3rd set

FEU Advocate
February 20, 2019 11:42

By Gio Carlo D. Castro

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws remained unbeaten after pulling off a good fight over University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in four sets, 25-13, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 81 men’s volleyball tournament, February 20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. ​

Tamaraw skipper Richard Solis chipped in a total of 14 points with 10 digs, followed by John Paul Bugaoan who marked a total of 13 points with 10 spikes and three blocks. Veterans Jude Garcia and Peter John Quiel added 11 points each. ​

With only nine errors committed in their Season 81 kick-off match against defending champion National University (NU), the Morayta-based squad is much expected to sweep another match this day for a sole reason of having a tight blocking department. ​

The Tamaraws showed no mercy again in their blocking unit after registering an early 4-0 run in the first set with blocks coming from Bugaoan and Owen Jaime Suarez. Bugaoan’s attack then caused the second technical time-out with a 12-point advantage, 16-4. ​

However, after dominating the two sets with 25 attacks, six blocks, and services aces, it was only in the third set when UP was able to tie the match courtesy of Jerahmeel Balderlovar, at 11-apiece, which eventually resulted for FEU to lose its momentum, ending it at 23-25. ​

After committing several mistakes during the third set joined by UP’s John Mark Millete eagerness to snatch the match, FEU’s head coach Reynaldo Diaz Jr. shared that their errors somehow served as a grace for his team.

Siguro ano rin, nag-relax ‘yung [mga bata] pagdating nung third set tapos ang dami kasi nating errors pero magandang blessing ‘yun para sa team para makita namin kung ano ‘yung kakulangan namin (Maybe the [players] relaxed already during the third set and then we have plenty of errors but it was a good blessing for the team, so that we can see what we lack off),” Diaz said.

Despite bouncing back from their mistakes, Diaz expressed how he applauds UP’s determination and gave credit for the Diliman-based squad after pouring its heart out on the court upon reaching and getting the match point.

Ako humahanga ako sa puso ng UP kasi kitang-kita naman natin [na] ‘di sila tumitingin sa score eh. Very consistent talaga sila kahit mapa-last point talagang go hard sila (I admire UP’s heart because we can definitely see that they do not just look for the score. They are very consistent even with the last point, they go hard [for it]),” he said.

Moreover, the Tamaraws’ next agenda will not be a piece of cake as they will face the team who outplayed them during the Season 80’s Final Four, the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles.

Diaz added that they will still use the same strategy on how they prepare for each opponent. As he put it, “Kung paano namin pinaghahandaan ‘yung mga naunang kalaban namin, same pa rin. Dapat mas tibayan pa namin kasi mas matibay ‘yung kalaban namin (How we usually prepare for our previous opponents, it is the same. We should strengthen [ourselves] more because our opponents are tougher).”

Now with a 2-0 win-loss card, the Tamaraws will seek to continue its winning streak and bounce back from last season’s Final Four heartbreak against Ateneo, who are already experiencing its post-Marck Espejo era, on February 24 at the same venue.

(See full album: UAAP 81 Men's Volleyball - FEU vs UP)