FAR Eastern University reached the UAAP finals for the first time in six years, defeating Ateneo, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, in their Season 81 Final Four match on Saturday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The Tamaraws managed to get past Ateneo in one match this time, after making the semifinals as second seed only to be beaten twice in the semifinals by the Marck Espejo-led Blue Eagles.
FEU advances to the UAAP Finals for the first time since 2013.
The Tamaraws face either defending champion National University Bulldogs or Adamson Falcons, who face off at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
Ateneo misses the finals for the first time in six years.
“Season 81 na ito eh, Season 80 yun eh. Hindi namin hahayaan na kung ano ang nangyari last year mangyayari uli ngayon,” said Jude Garcia, who finished with 12 kills, a block and an ace for 14 points.
JP Bugaoan delivered 13 points, Richard Solis chipped in 12 points, all coming from attacks, while Peter Quiel and RJ Paler added nine markers apiece.
Coach Rey Diaz was glad to see the Tamaraws recover after losing the first set.
“Kailangan naming i-handle ang emotions namin, kailangan kontrolin, kailangan ibalik ang timing,” Diaz said.
“Minsan yung mga maliliit na bagay na hindi nakikita yun ang nagiging problema. Kailangan lang talaga naming ma-handle ang every situation. Yung maturity na bitbit nila saka dala-dala ang puso nila.”
The Tamaraws dominated on attacks with a 59-49 differential, while the Blue Eagles committed 37 errors.
Tony Koyfman put up 21 points in his final UAAP match. John Rivera had an all-around effort with 15 points on top of 19 excellent receptions and 11 digs, while libero Manuel Sumanguid had 19 excellent receptions and 15 digs.