FEU tries to counter Ateneo's 'heart strong' mantra with its own 'play smart'
“Maging smart pag naglalaro and ‘yung focus namin hundred percent kailangan mabigay," said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos heading to his team's match up against reigning champion Ateneo. Dante Peralta

IT’S all about playing smart against the so-called ‘heart strong’ as Far Eastern University takes a shot against two-time defending champion Ateneo in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Tamaraws clash with the Lady Eagles at 2:00 p.m.

After a straight set loss to La Salle, FEU bounced back with a four-set victory over University of the East, 25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 25-14, on Sunday, while Ateneo is on a two-game winning streak for a share of the lead with La Salle (2-0).

FEU coach Shaq delos Santos will try to counter the tactics of Ateneo Thai mentor Tai Bundit, with a well-prepared game plan.

“Maging smart pag naglalaro and ‘yung focus namin hundred percent kailangan mabigay, and magpapakundisyon mabuti mentally and physically,” he said.

Aside from back-to-back MVP and Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez, delos Santos is wary of Amy Ahomiro, and sophomores Jhoana Maraguinot and Maddie Madayag.

“Actually lahat babantayan mo sila. Basta maglalaro kami (ng best namin) at aaralin pa namin ang mga dapat naming gawin against Ateneo,” he said.

But Valdez was quick to down play the hype on her team.

The 22-year old pride of San Juan, Batangas insisted that while FEU lost to La Salle, the Lady Tamaraws still showed their fighting heart and should not to be taken for granted.

“Grabe rin ‘yung game ng FEU against La Salle. They gave a good fight rin talaga, so it’s anybody’s ball game talaga. Wala tayo masasabi kung sino talaga ngayon (ang mananalo) it’s an interesting season,” she said.

Valdez, however, is leaving e it all up to Bundit, the man credited for the team winning its maiden title two years ago and the perfect 16-0 sweep of the tournament last season.

“We’re gonna prepare for FEU and for every team,” she said. “So si coach Tai na lang ang bahala, syempre siya naman ang nakakakita (ng kailangan pa namin i-improve) and we will have to apply all the things na sinasabi niya.” 

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