Tamaraws fend off UP to secure twice-to-beat advantage, top spot

FEU Advocate
April 20, 2024 04:41

By Leiniel A. Santos

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw prevailed against the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22, claiming twice-to-beat advantage in the semi-final round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament earlier today, April 20, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. 

After both teams started with back-to-back errors, the green-and-gold squad managed to get their groove on the defensive end earlier as the Fighting Maroons struggled to strike down their offense.

The Tamaraws’ double-sub of Vincent Nadera and Benny Martinez successfully produced four combined points to win the opening set, 25-17.

Tamaraw Jelord Talisayan exemplified the bench depth of the green-and-gold squad, immediately contributing in the second set with three points.

The Diliman-based squad pulled off a mini run in the third set to have a two-point lead, but Coach Eddison Orcullo’s usage of every player inside the court propels their win.

In the post-game interview, Coach Orcullo shared that they need to focus more on the team’s mental toughness.

Siguro ‘yung ano, mag-focus lang tayo sa mental toughness. ‘Yung skills lahat ng papasok sa top four, makikita natin ‘yung skills napakataas. Ang kailangan lang maging focus ng bawat isa sa’min ay kung pano namin i-hahandle ‘yung bawat isa sa’min (Maybe that's what, let's just focus on mental toughness. The skills of all those entering the top four, we can see that the skills are very high. What each of us needs to focus on is how we will handle each other),” he said.

Player of the Game Ariel Cacao mentioned that after claiming the top spot, their goal now is to focus on the semi-final round.

Bago mag-start ‘yung season nag-set kami ng goal eh, parang isa isa lang muna tas’ ngayon nakuha namin, nag-top one kami. So sunod na step namin is ‘yung semis naman (Before the season started, we set a goal, it was like one goal at first, now we got it, we got top one. So our next step is the semis),” he mentioned.

Outside hitter Andrei Delicana led the offense of the Tamaraws with 11 points, together with Dryx Saavedra’s 8 markers with 50% success rate in attacking.

The Orcullo-led squad is still the number one team in the tournament with a 12-1 win-loss record and will try to get revenge against the National University on Wednesday, April 24, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

(Photo by Zedrich Xylak Madrid/FEU Advocate)