MANILA, Philippines—It’s a new area for Far Eastern University as it enters the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament without leader Bernadeth Pons.
Pons bid goodbye to the team after Season 80 where she led the Lady Tamaraws to a runner-up finish, the highest FEU has placed in the tournament since winning the title in Season 70.
The absence of Pons is an obvious blow to the Lady Tamaraws, who have relied on their talisman for the better part of two years, but head coach George Pascua said his squad has slowly moved on from it.
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“Of course we’ve moved on and we can’t rely on just one player to carry us because teamwork is really important for us,” said Pascua in Filipino during the team’s practice Wednesday at FEU.
Pascua said captain Jerrili Malabanan and other veterans such as Kyle Negrito and Heather Guino-o can take the leadership mantle for the coming season.
The fun-loving mentor is also looking forward to rookie Lycha Ebon to make an immediate impact for the team since she’s playing the same outside hitter position that Pons once played with the Lady Tamaraws.
“We have veterans like Jer, Kyle, and Heather, then there’s also Ebon and all of those guys were once leaders in high school,” said Pascua. “Ebon just has to go through a little adjustment with the team.”
“The heart of Ebon is just different from the other rookies and you can see that she’s really a leader.”