UAAP: FEU men's volleyball coach still upbeat despite Game 1 loss

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2019 06:49 PM

UAAP: FEU men's volleyball coach still upbeat despite Game 1 loss 1
FEU head coach Rey Diaz. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) could not sustain a strong start in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 men's volleyball finals on Saturday, succumbing to defending champion National University in four sets.

The Tamaraws, back in the finals for the first time since 2013, had a strong start in the opener of the best-of-3 series, pulling away from the Bulldogs for a 25-21 triumph.

But their lack of poise showed in the next two sets, when their own errors allowed NU to hack out close wins. Momentum was firmly on the side of NU in the fourth set, and the defending champions secured a 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18 triumph.

"Ganda ng simula, kaya lang hindi pwedeng pang-simula lang eh," FEU coach Rey Diaz said afterward.

They had been in control of the second set, 16-11, before committing errors that allowed NU to recover. The Bulldogs was the more composed team down the stretch of both Sets 2 and 3, while the Tamaraws shot themselves in the foot with their own mistakes.

"Siguro, lumabas talaga 'yung experience ng NU na ilang taon na rin sila nasa finals. 'Yung team natin, first time lahat, first appearance sa championship game," Diaz explained.

"Siguro, lumabas lang 'yung pagiging first-timer," he added.

Despite the loss, Diaz said the Tamaraws are still upbeat. "Tingin ko, okay sila," he said.

"Tingin ko, walang doubt. Kasi ito na 'yung sinet namin talaga. Ang sinet namin is ipakita kung ano kami," he added. 

The defeat in Game 1 should only benefit them, the coach said, as they can now make the necessary adjustments for Game 2 where they will try to keep their season alive.

"Kung may pagkukulang, 'yun nga ang maganda. Pag natatalo, mas gumagaling. Gagamitin na lang namin 'yun sa pagbawi sa Game 2," he said.

Knowing they enter the match as underdogs – and with their backs against the wall – Diaz just wants his team to give their very best and relish the chance of playing in the finals.

"Lagi naman silang all-out," Diaz said of his team. "Ang sa akin lang, gusto ko pagtungtong nila ng court, bigay na nila 'yung best nila, i-enjoy nila."

"Kasi, pre, hindi na natin mababalik 'yung season na 'to. Sa susunod, Season 82 na. Minsan lang 'to. Napakaraming team na gusto makatungtong sa kinalalagyan natin," he added.

"Give lang natin 'yung best, okay na ako doon. 'Yun ang lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila."

Game 2 of the men's volleyball finals is on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.