FAR Eastern University coach George Pascua nearly choked himself to death on national television during their match against National University in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The veteran mentor took one of his player’s yellow warmer from the bench and wrapped it around his neck late in the second set when NU was ahead, 23-20, after Bernadeth Pons’ service error.
But Pascua explained himself after FEU defeated NU, 25-22, 25-25, 25-13, 25-20.
“Crucial eh, nakakapanghinayang lang kasi,” he said. “‘Di bale nang mamatay sa paluan ‘wag lang sa service. Kasi yun ang nakakapagpatay sa amin eh kaya as much as possible eh iwasan.”
“Kaya ayun ‘yung reaction ko. Pero out of nowhere ‘yun, ‘di ko naman alam na nakita sa TV,” he added with a chuckle.
Pons, who was seated beside Pascua during the post-game interview, was quick to own up to her mistake.
“Ako (‘yun), nakita ko kasi ako nag-serve noon eh,” she said. “Syempre crucial na kasi ‘yun eh. Palaging sinasabi na ni coach na talagang nakakabago ng momentum ‘yung service error.”
“Walang effort ‘yung kalaban, nagpuntos sila because of our errors,” she added. “Noong after ng nangyari ‘yun, andun na ‘yung drive ko na babawi ako.”
Although he was quiet upset during that crucial stretch in the game, Pascua was all calmed down.
Before the interview ended, he insisted that his gesture wasn’t intentional at all and he just got carried away by his emotions at that moment.
“Anyway, ‘di ko sinasadya ‘yun. Nadala lang ako,” he said.