FAR Eastern University coach Shaq delos Santos admitted he lost count of the games they’ve lost to Ateneo before walking away with a big smile on Wednesday after the Lady Tamaraws finally had their way with the Lady Eagles.
FEU drubbed Ateneo, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22, in the V-League Collegiate Conference quarterfinals at the PhilSports Arena to put an end to a seven-game losing streak against the Lady Eagles, breaking a dry spell that traces back to three UAAP seasons and one matchup in the same tournament last year.
“Oo nga, sa mahabang panahon,” he said with a sigh of relief. “Actually ‘yun ang pinag-uusapan namin noong Monday pa ng gabi, na kailangan kung gusto man natin silang talunin, pwede na nating simulan ngayong araw so ‘yun nga binigay sa amin ni Lord.”
The veteran mentor also revealed that although it was a non-bearing game for them, as they already secured a spot in the best-of-three semifinals, the Lady Tamaraws were bent on beating the Lady Eagles without realizing that a win help them earn the top spot while relegating National University down to second place.
“Sobra (motivated) actually hindi lang physical ang ginawa naming pagpapakundisyon, ‘yung mind din nila na kailangan mag-perform talaga kami ng mabuti,” said delos Santos.
“Kasi sinasabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘yung game namin against NU and San Sebastian medyo nag-off talaga kahit papano. So kailangan kung papasok tayo ng semifinals, ipakita natin kung ano ang team namin,” he added.
With their win, FEU sent Ateneo to a do-or-die playoff match against San Sebastian for the last semis spot. The winner of the Lady Eagles-Lady Stags match will face the Lady Tamaraws in the best-of-three semifinals.
Meanwhile, NU and University of the Philippines will tangle in their own best-of-three semis starting Monday.