Lady Tams vow to toughen up, rebound vs LADY Bulldogs

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The FEU Lady Tams, led by Jeanette Villareal and Toni Rose Basas, hope to firm up their defense upfront after producing just seven blocks against the National U Lady Bulldogs’ 12 in the opener of the PVL Collegiate Conference Finals late Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Far Eastern U hopes to duplicate its Final Four escape against Adamson as it seeks to rebound in Game Two of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals with National U tomorrow (Saturday) in San Juan.

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But to reprise their come-from-behind win over the erstwhile undefeated Lady Falcons, the Lady Tams must be able to continue to buck the odds, ride the pressure and minimize their miscues, particularly in the stretch.

Gametime is at 6:30 p.m. at the Filoil Flying V Center.

FEU coach George Pascua rued his wards’ errors late in the match that led to their 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 24-26 defeat to the powerhouse Lady Bulldogs late Wednesday night.

Down 1-2 in the match and trailing 15-21 in the fourth frame, the Lady Tamaraws mounted a stirring fightback, drawing level twice down the stretch, the last on a Celine Do­mingo kill that saved the match point.

But they faltered on a service error by Heather Guino-o and a mishit by Domingo in the next play, enabling the Lady Bulldogs to clinch the victory and move a win from completing their sweep of the crown in the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.

“That crucial point which led to a service error should have been ours. I guess it’s the mindset. We collapsed in the end,” said Pascua, also noting how they succumbed 35 errors in their 25-22, 26-28, 27-29, 22-25 defeat to the Lady Bulldogs in the group elims of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.

The Morayta-based spikers committed 27 miscues, four more than the Lady Bulldogs with two coming at endgame that ruined their comeback bid.

Despite the Game One loss, Pascua remained satisfied with his wards’ performance, especially in the absence of their veteran leader and ace scorer Bernadeth Pons, who had to focus on her UAAP beach volleyball stint together with libero Kyla Atienza.

Without their team captain, the likes of Czarina Carandang, Toni Basas and Jeanette Villareal have stepped up and Pascua hopes the Lady Tamaraws will emerge a better team from their recent defeat and duplicate their feat against the Lady Falcons in the semis.

FEU also dropped the Final Four opener against the then-undefeated Adamson but swept the next two to the chagrin of the Lady Falcons to arrange the title showdown with the Lady Bulldogs.

“I am satisfied because they gave their best. It’s just that they succumbed in the end. It will only make us strong in Games Two and Three. It also happened to us in the best-of-three before. So I told them we should learn from that,” said Pascua.

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