- March 03, 2019 12:43
By Aimerose C. Atienza
Despite executing a great offense, the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws capped off their first-round campaign with a wire-to-wire loss against the star-studded University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 76-83, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84 men’s basketball tourney last April 9 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Tamaraws sport a 3-4 win-loss record and landed in the fifth place at the end of the first round.
“Ang dami naming (We had many) opportunities in the end but sabi ko nga sa team (like what I said to the team), I just want to commend their effort in competing against a really talented UP team today,” FEU Head Coach Olsen Racela said.
The green-and-gold managed to keep a close gap within the first half of the game. However, Fighting Maroons’ Zavier Lucero went off to score 16 of his 27 points in the third canto which boosted the performance of the Katipunan-based team, creating an eight-point deficit in the process, 50-58.
With less than two minutes remaining, FEU scored four quick points from the joint efforts of LJay Gonzales and Xyrus Torres to cut the lead down by two, 74-76. But, the poor defensive execution of the Morayta dribblers towards the last minute made them suffer from another loss.
“Nagkulang kami sa defense sa huli… ‘yung last seconds, doon kami nadadali, doon kami bumibitaw (We lacked defense at the end… we lose it and we fall apart during the last seconds),” Gonzales mentioned.
Gonzales led the team with his best performance of the season so far with 20 points and eight rebounds, while FEU big man Emman Ojuola chipped in a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds in the match. Torres also splashed five much-needed treys for 17 points.
The Morayta-based squad will once again compete with the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, for their first game in the second round of eliminations in UAAP season 84 on April 12 at the same venue.
“Motivation namin ‘yung mga pagkatalo namin sa first round and ‘yung mga coaches din kasi nakikita namin sila na nahihirapan din sila (Our motivation is our losses during the first round and also our coaches because we can see their hardships [during games]),” Gonzales stated upon entering the second round of eliminations for the season.
(Photo by Andrea Joy Gonzales/FEU Advocate)