As FEU marches to warpath, the Lady Tamaraws will be carrying a mission that seems too tough to accomplish: Prevent the UAAP’s greatest rivalry from taking off.
FEU coach Shaq Delos Santos said Tuesday that his wards are pumped up to face La Salle anew for Game Two of their UAAP women’s volleyball Final Four showdown on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
He said they may not be as star-studded as La Salle, but they are eager to work hard to pull off an earth-shaking upset that will halt La Salle from clashing with Ateneo in the UAAP finals.
[quote cite=’Shaq Delos Santos, head coach (FEU)’]We will work hard and double all our efforts in Game 1.”
“La Salle is a strong team, a star-studded team. We will do everything we can to prevail and prevent them from booking a finals showdown with Ateneo. If we have to play the spoiler’s role, so be it. We are ready for the challenge.”[/quote]
The battle royale between La Salle and Ateneo seems like a match made in heaven.
In fact, the Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles have figured in the past four editions of the UAAP finals with the cheers and jeers of thousands of adoring fans spilling from the massive venue all the way to social media.
La Salle won the first two titles before Ateneo equalized it with a pair of crowns behind the brilliance of charming open spiker Alyssa Valdez. This year is supposed to be their tie-breaker, the ultimate battle that will finally settle the score and determine the rightful queen of UAAP volleyball.
But out of nowhere, FEU stole Game One away in a grueling five-set encounter, reducing the once gritty and proud Lady Spikers into a huge mass of tears and frustration.
Suddenly, the league’s greatest rivalry is in peril.
[quote cite=’Shaq Delos Santos, head coach (FEU)’]“I told the team that Game Two is an entirely different ballgame. Forget about what happened in Game 1. We have to start again from scratch. We have to remain hungry and focused as if we haven’t achieved something.”
“We have to continue our impressive floor defense and work hard on our blocking. Never mind if it’s not a solid block; our main objective is just to slow it down and make our presence felt on the defensive end.”[/quote]
Yes, Game Two will be a completely different battle.
And FEU is ready to rise and prevent the greatest rivalry from unfolding.