It was supposed to be the year FEU’s been waiting for, as things have looked to fall into place in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference.
But tragedy struck just as the Lady Tamaraws began their Final Four campaign against Ateneo, a team many have given up on after the Lady Eagles started slow without the firepower of Alyssa Valdez, Amy Ahomiro and the injured Jho Maraguinot.
If there’s one lesson that could be culled from this harrowing experience, however, is that the Morayta spikers would need to be more matured if they want to prevent such upset from happening again.
Coach Shaq delos Santos, who helplessly tried to egg on his wards as Ateneo pulled away late in Game 2, put things into prespective.
“Magandang aral para sa amin kung pano i-handle yung ganun sitwasyon,” he said. “Maganda naman yung ginawa namin, pero hindi talaga para sa amin yung game. I think magandang aral sa amin to na mas mamotivate kami, at mas malaman namin yung mga kulang at dapat naming gawin.”
While not totally attributing the sudden fall in performance to the absence of the injured Bernadeth Pons, the mentor said the Tamaraws sorely missed her services on both offense and defense.
“Sobra,” Delos Santos said of the impact of Pons’s loss. “Malaki kasi kita nyo naman every game ang laki ng pinupuntos nya, hindi lang sa atake more on sa depensa. Para ko na nga siyang second libero. Malaki ng adjustment na nangyari sa amin.”
He said Pons will also not play in the Battle for Third as FEU wants to prevent further aggravation of her injury, especially as the UAAP beach volleyball tournament nears.
“Ang pinaka-importante kasi sa amin, UAAP, so doon kami magfo-focus. UAAP #1 [priority] sa amin. Mas kailangan naming alagaan yung bata kaysa i-sacrifice sa injury,” he explained.
The head tactician said FEU has learned a critical lesson of stepping up in crucial situations and backing up the team in times of injuries.
“Kailangan ma-handle namin yung sitwasyon kahit kulang man, wala man yung iba kailangan mas mag-step up yung iba,” he said.
“Okay lang sa amin, mas kailangan naming tanggapin at matuto kami.” — By John Chester Fajardo