Far Eastern University (FEU) basketball great Raiza Palmera-Dy has returned to the university with a clear goal of bringing back FEU Women’s Basketball to the top of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). 

Coach Raiza was part of one of the most successful periods enjoyed by the program. In her five years as a student-athlete, she and her teammates made the UAAP Women’s Basketball Finals four straight times and won the championship twice.

She bagged the Most Valuable Player award in 2011, her final year in FEU.

Coach Raiza went on to represent the country in numerous international competitions. She played for Perlas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Women’s Cup and the Southeast Asian Games in 2015 and 2017. She did this while also raising a family. She is the proud wife to husband William and mother of Kylie, Reese, and Piper.

The former UAAP MVP comes back at a time when FEU has not won a UAAP Women’s Basketball title since 2012 and has missed the UAAP Final Four in the last two seasons.

Coach Raiza said the crucial thing in her return to her alma mater is the support and blessing she received from her family.

“I had to think about it for two weeks after our Athletics Director, Sir Mark Molina offered the head coach position to me last February. My husband and our children are also trying to adjust for me and support me in everything that I do. So, I’m very thankful that I have their support,” said Coach Raiza. 

She is also leaning from her experience as an athlete for FEU and the Philippines to help her in the transition process.

“This is the good thing of being a student-athlete before, I honestly don’t know how I did it especially the time that I was also part of the national team when I was still in college. I had to attend morning practice in FEU, where classes started right after practice. Then after class I had to rush to Rizal Gym for the national team practice. That’s my schedule daily and I don’t know how I managed it,” said Coach Raiza.

Coach Raiza with her family. Photo from Coach Raiza Palmera-Dy.

The competitive landscape in UAAP Women’s Basketball is arguably the tightest it has ever been, and Coach Raiza is fully aware of the challenges. Her immediate focus is building a solid relationship with current players and coaching staff as well as the management and foundation of the team.

She has also challenged her players to work hard show they deserve their spots in the team.

“The overall immediate strategy would be to know if the team has concerns or problems if any, second would be recruitment. I will try to go around different provinces to set tryouts and hopefully recruit potential players,” said Coach Raiza.

With so many things on her to-do list, Coach Raiza is approaching it at a manageable pace to not be overwhelmed.

“The important thing is you have to set and know your priorities and just take it one at a time,” she said.