When you lose a match even after a 2-0 lead, the only options left for you moving forward is to either sink or swim. For FEU, its dismantling of powerhouse NU was the perfect statement that they are not backing down from the challenge.
While the matchup against the Lady Falcons had the Morayta squad sputtering from midway to the end of the match, it was a different scenario Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Arena when the Lady Tamaraws secured the win in straight sets, 25-22, 25-21, 25-21.
Ending the 1st round of Season 78 on a high note, FEU head coach Shaq delos Santos shared it was the comeback he was expecting from his wards after a heartbreaking loss.
“Nagbunga ‘yung training namin na naging hard pagkatapos nung talo namin sa Adamson. Naging good factor naman siya sa game namin kanina. I’m so happy talaga na nanalo kami in 3 sets,” he said breathing a sigh of relief.
It was the same hot start for the Lady Tamaraws, anchoring on the explosive performances of top guns Bernadeth Pons and Toni Rose Basas, who combined for 33 big points.
The big difference this time, however, was how they kept their composure allowing the team to move up the standings with a 4-3 record.
On not giving minutes to his 2nd stringers, the coach said it was a lesson learned on his part.
“Siyempre lahat naman ng pagkakamali, may way para maitama,” he told the press.
“‘Yun din talaga ang practice namin na maging consistent muna especially ngayon na medyo mas magiging mahirap na ‘yung games,” he added. “Sabi nga namin sa mga bata kanina, hindi namin kailangan hintayin ang 2nd round para mag start ulit. Simulan na agad natin.”
Putting the defeat in the past and recovering with a convincing win, the coach, looking at the bright side, said the tussle against Adamson already served its purpose.
“Nanghihinayang kami dun sa pagkatalo. Ang good thing lang, naging hard ang training namin, nagising ang bawat isa and nagkaroon ng disiplina,” said delos Santos.
Aside from top scoring, Pons was also wreaking havoc on the defensive end and poured 15 excellent digs and 4 excellent receptions.
The outside hitter, though, according to her mentor, is yet to fully recover from her minor back injury.
“Hindi pa 100% si (Bernadeth ) Pons. Meron pa ring pain na nararamdaman,” admitted delos Santos.
“Pero sabi ko sa kanila hindi natin kailangan mag dahilan na merong may sakit ngayon kasi nasa game tayo,” he added. “Practice pwede adjust-an pero pagdating ng game kailangan maayos natin.”
On NU’s end, rookie Nabor was the lone bright spot offensively, surprising the opponents with 12 points to tie Jaja Santiago’s numbers.
Heading into the next round, delos Santos, though happy with the win, expects the Lady Tamaraws to rack up more wins to secure a spot in the post-season.
“Para sa akin, honestly speaking, hindi ako kuntento. ‘Yung adjustments pa din nandun eh,” he said.
“Hopefully this coming 2nd round mas masagot namin ‘yung problema namin,” he closed. — By Mac Dionisio