UAAP Preview: Intact FEU keeps modest goals in Pascua's first year in charge
FEU aims for the Final Four first before going for anything higher. Jham Mariano

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's the second of our eight-part preview on the coming UAAP women's volleyball season]

WITH a relatively intact lineup, Far Eastern University has emerged as the early favorite to win the UAAP women's volleyball crown.

Although they lost former captain Remy Palma, the Lady Tamaraws remain a force to be reckoned with in the league with the core of Bernadeth Pons, Toni Rose Basas, and returning Rose Vargas leading the charge.

But even with a tried and tested side, new FEU coach George Pascua said the Lady Tamaraws only set the modest goal of making it to the Final Four before they aim for anything higher. 

"Sa ngayon basta ang target lang namin, Top 4 muna. Kasi kapag sinabi mong championship, ang mindset nila, championship," said Pascua, who replaced Shaq de los Santos after last season.

"So one at a time ang sabi ko sa kanila, paunti-unti lang hanggang sa ma-reach natin. Ganoon naman ang instruction ko."

While the roster remains largely unchanged, the Lady Tamaraws took on some attitude adjustments with the change in coaching.

"Ang unang inayos namin, kaya ang tagal ng team building namin, almost five days, so inuna 'yung more on pyschological and emotional aspect nila," the head tactician said. 

"Then after that, noong okay na kami, na-settle na namin 'yun, then nag-camp kami sa Baguio ng three days. Kasi mahirap mag-practice na medyo mabigat sa loob eh so yun muna ang na-fix namin," he added.

Now Pascua expects the Lady Tamaraws to treat each game - whether agains a top-tier team or not - as though it's a winner-take-home championship match.

“But every game, think that this is a championship game. Think na ito na 'yung huling laro mo. Parang ganun," he said. 

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