MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University coach Tina Salak was honored to face her mentor Ramil De Jesus in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Tamaraws went down swinging against the Lady Spikers, 28-30, 12-25, 24-26, on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
De Jesus, who just returned last Saturday after missing the first round, still ended up triumphant despite the grit shown by Salak’s young wards.
Salak, the former national team setter who earned a Southeast Asian Games bronze medal under De Jesus in 2005, expressed her high respect to the 11-time UAAP champion coach.
“Looking back on the experience I had with coach Ramil. For me, coach Ramil had a big influence on me,” said Salak in Filipino after the loss. “Because I coached Zobel before. So he had a huge impact on my career and my growth [as a coach]. I was under him in the last SEA Games .”
Salak was the coach of La Salle Zobel, which had Angel Canino, Alleiah Malaluan, and Justine Jazareno, who are now all playing for De Jesus.
The animated Salak hopes she made De Jesus proud after the Lady Tamaraws stood their ground against the mighty Lady Spikers.
“I learned a lot from him and going against him I was inspired because I wanted to face my mentor and prove something that I can match his level so I can make him proud of the way I handle my things,” she said.
But performance-wise, Salak had some regrets and took the blame for their first set collapse.
“There was a call in the first set that was the coaches’ mistake. We were not focused when we committed a rotation error. We can’t blame the players because we failed to oversee that,” Salak said. “The team still lacks maturity even before I arrived. We can’t force it when they are not ready but I’m satisfied with the performance of my players. Maybe, sooner or later we’ll see. But with this outcome, it feels like I’m a winner.”
“You will see the full potential of FEU maybe two or three years from now. If we continue this then this season is a good baseline for us. It’s a learning experience,” she added.
FEU dropped to a 4-5 record but it is still in the Final Four race behind fourth placer National University (5-3).
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