It was in UAAP Season 70 that the Lady Tamaraws last ruled the collegiate volleyball.
After that season, they bowed down to De La Salle Lady Spikers in the finals of Season 71.
Then on, what was once a dynasty in the women’s division saw a decline in their dominance.
The Taft squad began their own era, winning six of the nine championships in the last nine seasons.
Ten years after a long drought, the Lady Tamaraws now have a chance to bring back the crown to the Tamaraws’ nest — their glory days.
After their four-set win against third seed Ateneo de Manila University today, FEU coach George Pascua puts his focus on the ultimate prize — the championship.
He said, whoever they face in the Finals — whether it would be La Salle or NU — they are prepared.
“Kahit sino, NU or La Salle, ready kami kasi talagang gusto namin makuha at ibalik sa Morayta ang trophy ulit na pinahiram ng FEU before,” Pascua said.
The first year mentor said in a post-game interview that everything is still surreal after they clinched the first final berth.
But they take it as a blessing and will work even harder for the championship.
“Siyempre speechless kasi pinaghirapan namin ‘yung season. Marami kaming sinakripisyo para makarating dito dahil 10 years na medyo isand dekada na nawala kami sa finals. Na-achieve naman.
He also lauded the seniors in his squad for stepping up big time in this game. According to him, the likes of Bernadeth Pons and libero Kyle Atienza who are both graduating have done their roles all-season long.
“Iba maglaro tong mga beterano ko. Talagang iba sila magtrabaho. Disiplina lahat at wala akong masabi,” he said.
Earlier, Pascua and La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus was seen talking with each other during the men’s semi-finals game between FEU and Ateneo.
When asked what they talked about, Pascua said they just reminisced their playing years in FEU and the emergence of popularity of volleyball in the country.
Meanwhile, skipper and graduating player Bernadeth Pons vowed to go all come finals. She said this is her last hurrah with the Tamaraws and she wants to have a graceful exit.
“Siyempre maeexpect niyo na mas ibibigay ko pa rin ang lahat. Mas all out na. Last year ko na at last chance ko na. So, ‘yun nakuha na namin ‘yung goal na makapasok sa Finals,” she said.
Pons scored 17 points off 15 attacks. She also tallied 16 digs and 19 excellent receives. Toni Rose Basas equalized Pons’ output as she chipped i 12 attacks, three aces and two blocks.