FAR Eastern University head coach George Pascua is proud to see his wards make it to the women’s and under-23 national pools.
Seven Lady Tamaraws made it to the initial rosters of the Philippines with FEU team captain Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, and Angel Cayuna making it to the 22-woman SEA Games pool, and rookie sensation Lycha Ebon, star libero Buding Duremdes, Jeanette Villareal, and Ivana Agudo being part of the U-23 pool.
FEU has the most representatives on both pools combined among all UAAP schools.
“Siyempre very proud ako kasi siyempre, product ng FEU yan. Proud ang buong FEU community,” Pascua said.
But Pascua insisted that being part of the national team entails a huge responsibility, that’s why he wants his wards to manage it well, especially while they are still in full focus of UAAP Season 81, where the Lady Tams hold a 4-2 win-loss record at joint second place.
“Basta kailangan lang, yung pagiging national team kasi, responsibility yan. Kailangan alam lang nila i-manage,” Pascua said.
Ebon, FEU’s prized recruit from Davao, didn’t expect to be called up for the U-23 pool, which will join the Southeast Asian Grand Prix, but she is grateful for the golden opportunity, although her main focus is their UAAP campaign right now.
“Sobrang happy po ako kasi hindi ko inexpect talaga yun. Pero sa ngayon, focus po muna ako sa UAAP,” Ebon said.
Domingo, who was selected to be part of the 22-woman pool for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, said she is ready to prove her worth and contribute for the country.
“Sobrang thankful kasi isa ako sa napili. Yung pagpasok ko sa seniors, hindi ko talaga siya ine-expect,” Domingo said. “Siguro po-prove ko na lang yung worth ko na parang, kaya kong mag-contribute.”
But just like Ebon, the reigning UAAP Best Blocker opted to focus on the UAAP first, which she can use as a buildup before joining the national pool.
“Yung national team, after UAAP pa naman yan eh,” Domingo said. “Siguro itong UAAP, ito yung magiging, dito kami mab-build para sa kung ano ang madadala namin sa national team. Wala naman siya masyadong pressure. focused kasi kami.”