Close is never enough, especially for the Final Four-aspiring Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws.
Earlier today, the Lady Tamaraws took the league-leading Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagle to five sets for the second time in UAAP Season 79. But the Morayta-based spikers fell short again in the decider.
Before today, FEU were tied at third and fourth with three other teams with 5-4 slates. After the loss, the Lady Tamaraws fell down to sixth, at the back of the line for the last two Final Four spots.
Since he started with the Lady Tamaraws in Season 76, Shaq Delos Sants has yet to coach his squad to a win over Ateneo in the UAAP.
The one-time UAAP champion head coach believes his squad is in-form to topple the Lady Eagles, but they need to show consistency.
“Nice try. Wala eh ganoon talaga.
“I think isa na lang yun sa pinaka-problem namin yung ma-overcome namin yung mga ganoong situwasyon,” Delos Santos said after the loss.
“I think darating naman yun [panalo sa Ateneo]. Darating yung time para doon basta wag lang kami maiinip. Gustong-gusto nila talunin yung Ateneo kaya lang hindi binigay sa amin ni God. So, huwag kami maiinip, hihintayin namin yung para sa amin.”
In the fifth set, the Lady Tamaraws came within two points, 8-10, but failed to score another for the rest of the match. FEU surrendered three attack errors in that stretch.
“Kasi sabi ko nga sakanila hindi madaling gumawa ng puntos so ‘wag din kayo magbigay ng puntos sa kalaban. Kailangan kung gagawa sila [kalaban] ng puntos, paghirapan nila,” lamented Delos Santos.
To make the Final Four, FEU will need to win at least three of their remaining matches, which begin with the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses on Saturday.
Facing another team that beat them last round, Delos Santos remains optimistic.
“Meron kaming one week para mag-prepare kailangan namin makabawi siyempre especially ngayon na crucial na yung posisyon namin.
“Hindi naman kami nawawalan ng pag-asa. Siyempre lagi namang meron yan so kami na yung bahala kung paano namin siya i-accept,” Delos Santos said.