Editor's note: This is the second of our eight-part preview of the coming UAAP Season 82 women's volleyball tournament]
Last Season: 4th Place (9-5)
Key Holdovers: Angel Cayuna, Buding Duremdes, Lycha Ebon, Ivana Agudo, Jeanette Villareal, Czarina Carandang
Departures: Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o, Kyle Negrito, Celine Domingo, Carly Hernandez
Head Coach: George Pascua (3rd Season)
IT may be the dawn of an era, but the goal remains the same for Far Eastern University and head coach George Pascua in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Tamaraws reached the Final Four for the past six straight seasons — highlighted with a silver medal finish in 2018 — but how can they sustain it this year with a rebuilding roster?
FEU lost scorers Jerrili Malabanan and Heather Guino-o as well as setter Kyle Negrito, who all served their last playing year, while former league Best Blocker Celine Domingo and service specialist Carly Hernandez have decided to skip this season.
Pascua’s third season will be the most challenging task for him, but reaching the Final Four is not impossible for his young and small team.
“Maraming nawala sa team namin pero ang difference nun experience lang siguro pero skills wise andun naman, naaachieve naman namin,” the FEU coach said.
“This season yung top four muna importante maachieve muna namin yun then let’s see kung ano yung mangyayari pagdating doon. Looking forward kami sa goal namin,” he added.
FEU’s Final Four goal relies on holdovers bannered by setter and captain Angel Cayuna, libero Buding Duremdes, spiker Ivana Agudo, middle blockers Jeanette Villareal and Czarina Carandang.
These seniors believe that their younger teammates led by rookie Shiela Kiseo and fit-again Lycha Ebon, who didn’t finished her rookie season due to ACL injury last year, could help them reach the team’s target.
“Yung mga bata namin hindi sila mahirap turuan, sumusunod sila kung ano yung galawan namin na seniors ganun na din sila sumasabay sila sa amin,” said Duremdes.
Pascua may be pinning his hopes to younger players but his rookies have what it takes to compete at a high level.
That’s what Kiseo assured as they embark on a new era of the Lady Tams this season.
“Makakaya namin bawat team, maliit lang po kami pero nandun naman yung tapang tsaka sipag ng bawat isa,” Kiseo said. “Lagi na lang naming iniisip na makakaya namin bawat game namin. Tatapangan lang talaga namin.”