[This is the third installment of our eight-part preview on the UAAP women's volleyball season]
FAR Eastern University is looking forward to what it feels is the Lady Tamaraws' best chance to end a title drought in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament.
Last year, the Lady Tamaraws made it to the Final Four and defeated then No.2 seed and twice-to-beat La Salle in Game One before bowing to the Lady Spikers in the decider.
But for team captain Remy Palma, the heartbreaking end to last season should only serve to fuel the team’s desire to go all the way this year.
“Last year na lahat ng tao hindi ine-expect na aabot pa kami ng Final Four kasi akala nila malalaglag na kami so ‘yun din ang pinanghawakan namin,” she said.
“Ako lagi kong sinasabihan ang mga bata na ito na ang last chance namin,” she stressed.
FEU last won a UAAP title in 2008 when Rachel Anne Daquis, Maica Morada, Mumay Vivas, Wendy Semana and Shaira Gonzales defeated Adamson in the Finals.
Fifth-year middle blocker Palma is confident an almost intact lineup from last season, save for setter Gyzelle Sy, is capable of ending the team's nine-year title drought.
Hard-hitting spiker Bernadeth Pons, Toni Basas, Jerrili Malabanan, Kyle Negrito and Kyla Atienza will help Palma in their quest for the championship.
“lIabas na natin ang best ng bawat isa every game, kung sino man ang kalaban natin ‘wag na tayo magpabukas pa, ‘wag na natin sabihin na sayang,” said the veteran.
“Kasi wala eh, isipin natin lahat ng pinaghirapan natin araw-araw. Sa lahat ng game na lalaruan natin ito na ang iaalay ko sa family ko, sa FEU community and sa lahat ng naniniwala sa amin,” she added.
Unlike other teams that went abroad, FEU went to Baguio for training and to Silang, Cavite for team building and the Lady Tamaraws also held twice-a-day practice at the FEU gym in R. Papa.
FEU starts its campaign against defending champion La Salle on February 5 at the Araneta Coliseum.