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FEU Lady Tamaraws hope to capitalize on the Cinderella run

FEU Lady Tamaraws hope to capitalize on the Cinderella run

By: Lance Agcaoili12 minutes ago

FEU Lady Tamaraws hope to capitalize on the Cinderella run

FEU Lady Tamaraws after concluding their UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament campaign. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines – It was a tough pill to swallow being swept by National University in their do-or-die Final Four series to the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws after their Cinderella run in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament ended.

FEU couldn’t maintain the momentum from its unmitigated first-match win against twice-defeated NU last Saturday, after the Lady Bulldogs returned the favor with a dominant 25-13, 27-25, 25-15 victory en route to their third consecutive Finals appearance on Wednesday in front of 13,000 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Faida Bakanke, Chenie Tagaod and Tin Ubaldo were heartbroken after missing the chance to become the first No. 4 team to reach the women’s volleyball finals and end the school’s five-year finals drought.

UAAP SCHEDULE: Season 86 Volleyball Finals UST vs NU

“It’s my first year (in) the UAAP. I played well with my teammates and the coaches. We must accept the loss(s) and the mistakes. We may not have accepted it now, but we have to learn to accept that so that we can come back stronger next year,” said Bakanke, who finished her rookie year with seven points.

Ubaldo, who dished out 14 excellent sets on top of four points, and the Lady Tamaraws were encouraged by rookie coach Manolo Refugia to keep their heads high despite the heartbreaking exit as they were able to take the school back to the Final Four after two seasons. and almost powerhouse NOW upset.

“We are sad, but we have to look at the positive side, as coach Manolo told us. We had a great run after one win in season 84, fifth in season 85, and this time we are in fourth place,” Ubaldo said in Filipino. “We are super happy because many fans still support us. Despite our shortcomings, they still believe in us.”

READ: NOW Lady Bulldogs oust FEU to face UST in UAAP volleyball final

Tagaod, who was FEU’s top scorer with nine points, was grateful for her teammates after they stuck together and supported each other, especially coach Refugia for keeping the Lady Tamaraws together amid the various changes in their program

“Our team has improved tremendously. Today we may have fallen short, but hopefully our time will come next year,” Tagaod said.

FEU Lady Tamaraws rookie Faida Bakanke reacts after losing their UAAP Season 86 Final Four match

FEU Lady Tamaraws rookie Faida Bakanke reacts after losing their UAAP Season 86 Final Four match. –MARLO CUETO/

Refugia said no one from the team will graduate after their impressive season, hoping to come back stronger and get over the hump next year with their roster still intact.

READ: UAAP: FEU rises to title contender after worst ever finish

“We are proud because we achieved our goal of returning to the Final Four. We will never forget how this program started from scratch two years ago and the players grew and learned together,” said the youthful FEU coach.

“We still have years to go. We shared the experience of winning and felt a tinge of regret when losing games. Next year we will still be intact and there is a lot of room for improvement for the players and even for us coaches.”

Bakanke, who has made her home in Manila, vows to better repay the love she has received from her team and the Philippine volleyball community.

“I would like to thank the Filipino community for showing love and kindness to me. We will come back stronger next season. Maraming-maraming salamat sa Filipino community,” said Congolese opponent Spiker.