MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University (FEU) played like a shell of its former self on Wednesday, when the Lady Tamaraws slumped to a straight-sets loss to Ateneo de Manila University in its first game of the second round of the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament.
The Lady Tamaraws had won four straight matches heading into the contest, and had already beaten Ateneo once this season: they outlasted the Lady Eagles in five sets in their first game of the tournament, torching the Katipunan volleybelles for 20 aces.
There were no signs of that FEU team on Wednesday. The Lady Tamaraws instead turned in a lackluster performance, with no player other than Toni Rose Basas (10 points) reaching double-digit scoring. They could not take advantage of Ateneo's poor reception, notching only three aces.
Ateneo, in contrast, was sharp all throughout the game. The Lady Eagles came away with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-17 win to snap FEU's winning streak and earn a share of third place in the league standings.
"Kaya nga lagi kong sinasabi, laging unpredictable ang volleyball. Di mo alam kung sino mananalo this day, this game," FEU coach George Pascua said after the game.
"Galing kami sa panalo, so 'yung tendency, mag-slow down. Sila, galing sa talo, so mas malakas pagbalik."
Pascua was not too torn up about the loss, noting that the team still has a long journey ahead. However, he still stressed that it will be a test of character for the Lady Tamaraws.
" 'Yun ang isang magiging test ng character, kung aayaw ba sila or mas magpupursige pa sila," he said.
"Ito ang magiging way namin para bumalik kami sa drawing board."
FEU will have a weeklong break before facing University of Santo Tomas on March 14 at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. There, Pascua hopes to pounce on the skidding Tigresses.
"Hopefully, sa mga darating na upcoming game namin, galing kami sa talo, so tataas ulit," said the coach.
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