FEU Tamaraws’ Paolo Bugas: Return of the brave booter

Paolo Bugas scored the goal that won the UAAP 77 football title for the FEU Tamaraws.

Paolo Bugas scored the goal that won the UAAP 77 football title for the FEU Tamaraws.

By Prof Ed Garcia (FEU Consultant on Formation at FEU Diliman)

Sprawled on the grass at a mound in FEU Diliman’s campus, Paolo Bugas was writhing in pain. The team’s Korean coach, Master Kim Chul Su was sharing his post-game thoughts after a tough physical game with the University of the Philippines Maroons which resulted in a 3-1 loss, ending the UAAP first round. The usually attentive Paolo, however, was flat on his back and holding his knee telling us that he was going through unbearable pain.

It was then we decided to bring him to the emergency room of the nearby FEU hospital where he had an x-ray. The initial findings showed a partial tear of the meniscus and an ACL injury; so, I spoke with the resident doctor and insisted on an MRI to make sure about the extent of the damage on his knee. Once confirmed late in the evening, Paolo conveyed to his mother by phone that his football season was over and it was then that tears quietly flowed from his eyes.

The Ultimate Team Player
Paolo is the ultimate team player, the mid-fielder who distributes the ball; handles it with aplomb, scours the field for the open man, and passes it with pinpoint accuracy. For nearly the entire second round, Paolo sat out the season in a plaster cast; after going through a Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PPR), somehow there was a glimmer of hope.
Perhaps, he could return to the pitch in the final stretch of the season, and this possibility drove him to work hard on his conditioning; he needed to be physically and mentally fit. Motivated, Paolo prayed fervently and followed a rigorous regime; he embodied the mantra of the FEU footballer: desire, discipline and dedication.

FEU Tams celebrate Jan Melizza's game-tying goal during the final minutes of regulation.

FEU Tams celebrate Jan Melizza’s game-tying goal during the final minutes of regulation.

When the final whistle sounded in regular time in the championship game between the Archers and the Tamaraws at 2-2 all, the team had given its best against a LaSalle team that played brilliantly. The Tams had to come from behind twice to stay in the game thanks to the goal-scoring skills of Eric Giganto and Jhan Melliza– the last goal coming in the 83rd minute of play. During the brief rest period, Master Kim urged them to continue their aggressive passing game; they then went into silent mode: closed their eyes, meditated and focused on this thought: we can do this and finish the task, we can hold our ground, play as a team and become champions again.

In the early minutes of extra time, Paolo dribbled past two defenders, then drilled a strong shot that was aided by a deflection from a LaSalle defender and hit the back of the net as a stunned goalie Clifford de Guzman (the UAAP’s most valuable) watched helplessly. As Paolo run to hug Anton Montinola (the visionary and architect of the university’s sports agenda) to celebrate his stunning goal, it then struck me how improbable and unbelievable this journey was from the wheelchair to the UAAP football championship; a feat that sealed the Tamaraw Booters’ Double Treble – winning the crowns in Juniors, Women’s and Men’s in successive years – a first in UAAP football history.

FEU Tams show their appreciation to Master Kim, who has molded them to become top-calibre football players.

FEU Tams show their appreciation to Master Kim, who has molded them to become top-calibre football players.

Nurturing the Winning Mentality
Paolo belonged to a legendary group of boys nurtured by the school’s football progam based in the FEU Diliman campus where they started playing together since high school: names such as Aguinaldo (now with the Azcals), Amita, Diaz, Ferrer, Calamba and others grew up together as team-mates honed in the art of the short pass, the deliberate systematic attack and the give-and-go towards the goal.

In one season, in different leagues and tournaments (the UAAP, the NCR, the Palarong Pambansa which they won representing the National Capital Region, the RIFA, and the Alaska Cup) they went undefeated in a total of 40 games. To this day, the Junior Tamaraws have won the UAAP championship five times, the last on 7 March defeating the Blue Eaglets 2-1 in a bruising encounter.

The Team Behind the Team
Undoubtedly, Master Kim’s rigorous training sessions, his insistence on the twenty basic skills, his emphasis on both footwork and teamwork, his passion and work ethic play a major role in the team’s development. Moreover, emphasis is put on character formation as the boys realize the value of hard work, playing as a team, magnanimity in victory and graciousness in defeat.
Vince Santos, the man behind the school’s football program, and Mark Molina, the athletic director, complement each other as they demonstrate their drive and determination to assemble a team of championship calibre under the watchful eye of Anton Montinola.

A Double Treble for FEU after winning all of the UAAP divisions for the second straight year.

A Double Treble for FEU after winning all of the UAAP divisions for the second straight year.

“Be Brave,” the Team’s Battle-cry
Paolo Bugas comes from Compostela Valley – in the heart of one of the country’s conflict zones in Mindanao. Together with the other boys in the team from Mindanao, Western, Eastern and Central Visayas, they have learned to live with adversity and survive. Football is a way out of destitution and dead-end lives, and the FEU scholar-athletes are grateful that playing football opens doors to better lives. Because of football, they are able to study, to make friends, to bring joy to their communities some of whom are able to watch them when matches are televised and give hope to their families.

Paolo also knows the meaning of the phrase discussed by the team, “Tams Play for Peace in Mindanao,” a thought that other FEU players such as basketball icon Mac Belo (who comes from Midsayap, North Cotobato, a two-hour bus ride from the infamous Mamasapano, Maguindanao) and Mike Tolomia (who comes from the twice besieged Zamboanga City) understand in the flesh.

When the UAAP season began, “Be Brave” became the team’s battle-cry. It was the school founder’s last words to his daughter, Lourdes R Montinola, before he was killed by the Japanese in the Battle of Manila. It also describes his dream to provide education to the working student who could only come to class at night or to pursue learning under difficult circumstances.

For FEU athletes, some of whom face adversity or adverse conditions to compete and succeed, “Be Brave” is more than just a slogan. It shows a way of meeting life’s challenges. Paolo Bugas embodies FEU’s brave booter who played against all odds, overcame pain and injury, and together with a brave band of brothers – talented and blessed — helped deliver a championship to a school that nurtures character and thus transforms lives.

 

Gallery: FEU achieves “Double Treble” in UAAP Football

 

 

Related articles:
Green and Gold Glory: Dissecting FEU’s football dominance
FEU defeats La Salle to win back-to-back UAAP men’s football title
Nine-man FEU outlasts La Salle in extra time to repeat as UAAP men’s football champion
FEU captures three peat in UAAP women’s football
FEU completes another golden treble in UAAP football
FEU wins 3rd straight women’s football title
FEU pulls off UAAP football double
Tamaraws on the throne: FEU prevails over La Salle in extra time; holds on to football crown
Lady Tamaraws scoop third straight title with 2-1 win over UP
FEU’S DOLINO WINS WOMEN’S FOOTBALL MVP AWARD
FEU’S MELLIZA TAKES HOME MEN’S FOOTBALL MVP HONORS
Comeback Kid: Bugas returns to team, helps FEU to title
FEU goal-scorers share insights on Season 77 final triumph

FEU Women’s Chess Team reclaims UAAP crown

10941430_453863001436041_3833669840330403376_n

Far Eastern University claimed the women’s division crown in the UAAP Season 77 chess tournament Sunday at the Henry Sy Sr. Bldg. inside the De La Salle University campus. The Lady Tams ended the four-year reign of the De La Salle University Lady Woodpushers, spoiling the Taft-based school’s bid for a rare championship double.

Despite a 1.5-2.5 loss to La Salle in the 14th round, FEU gained enough cushion to bag its second women’s crown with 44 points. The Lady Woodpushers settled for second place with 43 points. The much-anticipated top board duel between WIMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Janelle Mae Frayna ended up in a draw, but the Lady Tamaraws secured the championship after Shania Mae Mendoza defeated fellow Woman FIDE Master Cherry Mae Mejia in Board 2.

Frayna, who beat Fronda in their first round meeting, took home the season MVP honors, while Mendoza bagged the Rookie of the Year plum.

FEU’s Frayna (Board 1), La Salle’s Mejia (Board 2), WIM Bernadette Galas also of La Salle (Board 3), FEU’s Venice Vicente (Board 4), FEU’s Nikki Yngayo (Board 5) and Cyamie Villanueva (Board 6) are the gold medal winners in the women’s side. The FEU Men’s Chess Team was unable to defend its UAAP title and settled for fourth place with 30.5 points, while FEU Diliman Baby Tams finished second place in the juniors division. The FEU Chess teams are coached by Grand Master Jayson Gonzales, International Master Yves Ranola and National Master Alexander Milagrosa.

EBB

DSC_0035DSC_0032

Lady Tam Spikers clinch No. 4 spot, Tam Booters collide with UP in semis

Geneveve Casugod was a Tower of Power for the Lady Tams, after scoring 17 points with five blocks.

Geneveve Casugod was a Tower of Power for the Lady Tams, after scoring 17 points with five blocks.

FAR Eastern University won a third straight do-or-die match, nipping University of Santo Tomas, 25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 16-25, 15-6, to bag the remaining semifinals berth in the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Tamaraws used their solid blocking in the deciding frame to thwart the Tigresses’ attacks at the net to avert a huge collapse after winning the first two frames.
“Thank God, kasi naka-survive kami sa fifth set. Nakikita namin yung kumpiyansa ng bawat isa na kahit down kami, kaya naming maka-recover,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos.  Bernadette Pons had 17 hits and 12 digs, Geneveve Casugod also had 17 points, including five blocks, while rookie Heather Guino-o had a career-game 17 points for the Lady Tamaraws.

FEU will now play third seed National University in the first step-ladder match, a knockout affair, on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The survivor will take on twice-to-beat De La Salle in the second step-ladder game. It was the Tigresses’ third straight Final Four exit, as they failed to sustain the fightback led by rookie Cherry Rondina in the third and fourth set.

Pam Lastimosa had 19 points and six digs in her final game for UST, while Rondina and Ria Meneses tossed in 11 markers. The Tigresses forced the game’s last deadlock at 2-2 before the Lady Tamaraws rediscovered the form that won the first two sets behind Pons to put the game beyond reach at 13-4.

FEU plays UP in UAAP Men’s Football semis

Defending champion Far Eastern University routed University of the East, 5-0, to finish second and forge a semis duel with last season’s runner-up University of the Philppines, which battled Adamson University to a 1-1 standoff. The Tamaraws collected 30 points in second place while the Fighting Maroons had 28 points in third spot.

The FEU-UP duel, a rematch of last season’s Finals, is also scheduled on Sunday at the Malate venue.

Jess Melliza (3rd, 9th) and Arnel Amita (19th, 37th) netted a brace, while Eric Giganto fired his 16th goal of the season in the 40th for the Tamaraws, who fielded in reigning MVP Paolo Bugas late in the match, his first appearance since going down with a knee injury in the first round.

Lady Tam Spikers, Tam Booters in sudden-death matches this week

Far Eastern U players celebrate their win against Adamson as the Lady Tams secured at least a playoff for the last semifinals berth. (Photo by Josh Albelda of UAAPsports.tv)

Far Eastern U players celebrate their win against Adamson as the Lady Tams secured at least a playoff for the last semifinals berth. (Photo by Josh Albelda of UAAPsports.tv)

Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas got a lifeline in their semifinals bids after prevailing over respective foes in the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday.

The Tigresses made short work of also-ran University of the East, 25-10, 25-22, 25-11, while the Lady Tamaraws bundled Adamson University out of the playoff picture with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 win in the penultimate day of the eliminations.

UST and FEU wound up with identical 6-8 slates, and will play in a do-or-die match for the No. 4 slot in the post-season. University of the Philippines was unable to secure a playoff for the semis slot after losing to National University in the final day of eliminations.

“Nagkakaroon ng kumpiyansa ang lahat ng players,” said coach Shaq delos Santos after his Lady Tamaraws won their second straight do-or-die match, counting last Wednesday’s four-set triumph over the Lady Maroons.

Pons scored all but one of her 12 hits from attacks, while Palma, who accounted four of FEU’s 10 blocks, also tossed in 12 points, and Casugod added 10 markers.

FEU plays UP in UAAP Men’s Football semis

Defending champion Far Eastern University routed University of the East, 5-0, to finish second and forge a semis duel with last season’s runner-up University of the Philppines, which battled Adamson University to a 1-1 standoff. The Tamaraws collected 30 points in second place while the Fighting Maroons had 28 points in third spot.

The FEU-UP duel, a rematch of last season’s Finals, is also scheduled on Sunday at the Malate venue.

Jess Melliza (3rd, 9th) and Arnel Amita (19th, 37th) netted a brace, while Eric Giganto fired his 16th goal of the season in the 40th for the Tamaraws, who fielded in reigning MVP Paolo Bugas late in the match, his first appearance since going down with a knee injury in the first round.

 

Lady Tams still alive in Final Four race

DSC_4846 - Copy

Far Eastern University ended a three-game slide by topping University of the Philippines, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19, and force a four-way logjam in fourth spot along with its victims, Adamson and idle University of Santo Tomas at 5-8 in the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Yung skills, nandiyan na. Kailangan nandoon yung willingness na manalo,” said coach Shaq delos Santos, whose Lady Tamaraws ended a three-game slide.

Bernadette Pons regained her old form, finishing with 20 hits, including three service aces, and 11 digs, while Remy Palma had three blocks for a 16-hit showing for FEU.

The Lady Tamaraws will face the Lady Falcons in a virtual do-or-die match on Saturday.
“Malaki ang tiwala sa team ko, kahit mga bata pa yan, naniniwala ako sa kakayahan nila. Paghihirapan namin yung last game against Adamson, yun ang kailangan naming magawa,” said delos Santos.

Related news:
FEU Lady Tamaraws down UP Lady Maroons to snap three-match skid and stay in hunt for semifinal spot

Tam Booters cruise to semis, Lady Tams play UP in women’s final

Eric Giganto scored four goals in FEU's 6-0 rout over UST over the weekend.

Eric Giganto scored four goals in FEU’s 6-0 rout against UST over the weekend.

DEFENDING champion Far Eastern University, University of the Philippines and De La Salle secured the first three semifinals berths after prevailing over their separate foes in the UAAP Season 77 men’s football tournament over the weekend.

Eric Giganto fired four goals as the Tamaraws overpowered University of Santo Tomas, 6-0, yesterday, while the Fighting Maroons beat University of the East, 2-0, in the Saturday night game at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Ateneo.

FEU and UP remained tied on top with 27 points, although the Morayta-based booters are way ahead in goal difference, while La Salle is in third spot with 26 points.

Giganto took the lead for the league’s best goalscorer race with 15 after scoring in the 12th, 35th, 58th and 62nd minute, while Arnel Amita (16th) and Jess Melliza (46th) also contributed for the Tamaraws.

Meanwhile, UP forged its one-game women’s Finals matchup against titleholder FEU with a 3-1 win over UST. The Lady Maroons now have 13 points behind the Lady Tamaraws’ league-leading 16 points.

Amita nets hat-trick as FEU IX wins

Arnel Amita, who is seen here in action against Adamson, blasted three goals against Ateneo to lead FEU's 4-0 win. (Photo from UAAP Sports)

Arnel Amita, who is seen here in action against Adamson, blasted three goals against Ateneo to lead FEU’s 4-0 win. (Photo from UAAP Sports)

Standings: FEU 24 pts, UP 24, DLSU 23, ADMU 22, NU 20, UST 12, UE 4, AdU 0

ARNEL AMITA netted three goals as defending champion Far Eastern University plummeled Ateneo, 4-0, and gain a piece of the lead in the UAAP Season 77 men’s football tournament yesterday at the FEU-Diliman pitch.
Amita, fouled by Jin Montemayor inside the box, scored the spot kick in the 38th minute, converted a sharp volley shot in the 67th and completed a hat-trick 16 minutes later to seal the deal for the Tamaraws.
“Palagay ko umaangat kami ngayon. Every game, iniisip namin na championship game,” said Amita.
FEU now has 24 points to join idle University of the Philippines on top of the table, although the Morayta-based booters are ahead in goal difference. The Blue Eagles were visibly off-sync, as proved by a miscommunication between Wilson Marcelino and keeper JP Oracion allowed Eric Giganto to score and double the Tamaraws’ lead in the 56th.

Tamaraw Booters solidify spot in semis; Lady Tams reach finals

1780809_10153612880715288_8276020662933664216_n

Defending champion Far Eastern University opened a four-point cushion over National University in the race for the last semis berth with an emphatic 5-1 victory in the UAAP Season 77 men’s football tournament .

The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the 17th minute courtesy of Paolo Salenga, but the Tamaraws regrouped as Arnel Amita scored a brace in the 46th and 73rd minute, while Jess Melliza (60th), Audie Menzi (64th) and Michael Menzi (79th) also contributed goals to avenge their 1-3 loss in the first round.

FEU now has 21 points, while NU stayed at 17 points in fifth place.

Lady Tamaraw Booters blank UP to claim spot in the Finals

Goals from Charmaine Fagaragan and Sharmine Siaotong ensured that the FEU Lady Tamaraws are in the finals for the third straight season following a 2-0 win over UP at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field on Saturday afternoon.

The defending champions, whose passage to the Finals was halted by La Salle last week, took no time to make their intentions realized. Just two minutes into the match, FEU went ahead. The Lady Tamaraws launched a quick attack after intercepting UP’s attempt to play rapid off a dead ball. Ina Araneta got ahead of the pack before giving the ball to Charmaine Fagaragan. The forward sneaked the ball in towards the net with technique, timing it well to beat the rushing UP goalkeeper AJ Javier.

Read more in Tiebreaker Times

FEU Spikers rebound with twin wins

DSC_4846 - Copy

FAR Eastern University held off a surprisingly tough University of the East, 25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, to boost its Final Four campaign in the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Arena. The Lady Warriors finally won a set this season and even led, 12-11, in the fourth frame before Bernadette Pons and Remy Palma combined forces down the stretch to help the Lady Tamaraws win for the first time in 2015 and improve to 4-5 card.

“Gumana ang depensa at attack ng mga open spikers (ng UE). Ganoon talaga, second round na ito. On and off pa rin ang laro, hindi puwedeng ganoon sa mga natitira naming laro,” said FEU mentor Shaq delos Santos, whose wards halted a two-game slide.
Pons tallied 14 points and 11 digs, while Palma had two blocks to finish with 11 points for the Lady Tamaraws.

The Lady Warriors, who dropped to 0-9, drew big numbers from Shaya Adorador (14 hits) and Angelica Dacaymat (13 hits) but committed a whooping 38 errors.
In men’s play, Greg Dolor had three blocks for a 23-point effort as FEU nipped UP, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 22-25, 15-10, for its third win in eight starts.

Playing their best game of the season, the Lady Warriors snatched the third frame after substitute Laizah Bendong converted a service ace which turned out to be the set point.
The Lady Tamaraws frontline struggled, as Geneveve Casugod played only in the third set as she is recovering with an ankle injury, while Jerrili Malabanan chipped in only four points after an impressive eight-hit effort against the Lady Spikers last week.

“Kailangan namin ng panalo dahil target namin Top 4. Mahirap pero kailangan paghirapan namin,” said Delos Santos, whose wards are now only trailing fourth-running University of the Philippines by half a game.