Chambers on first win with FEU: 'We can be good right now'

FEU Advocate
June 06, 2024 16:15

By Vince Matthew Jaramilla

Despite being in a rebuilding phase, Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw Head Coach Sean Chambers highlighted the immediate competitiveness of the rookie-laden team as they knocked out the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 79-72, in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup earlier today, June 6, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

"I'm just so proud of the guys, how they continue to work hard and they're starting to see the big picture and understand that we can be good right now. We don't have to wait till year one, year two, year three. [We are] competitive right now with the right mindset and the right attention to details. It was really good to see," he said in the post-game conference.

The match between the two rival schools was a clincher for the last spot in the UAAP group for the quarterfinals.

The Chambers-led cagers were off to a slow start as they were down 2-6 after a low post jumper and a trey by the Pido Jarencio-led squad's Peter Osang and Nic Cabañero, respectively.

By utilizing their pressure defense to record four steals and run the break, the Tamaraws flipped the switch to come out on top after the first frame, 22-16.

In the second quarter, early turnovers and sloppy rebounding caused issues in the execution of FEU.

The España-based ball team also took advantage of the minutes with Morayta's Mo Konateh off the floor by putting the ball in the post.

Fortunately, the Tamaraws were able to continue producing offense behind Veejay Pre who scored 15 in just the first half to stay in the driver's seat, 40-31.

The lead would balloon to as much as 19 in the third as FEU continued to find fastbreak opportunities and boost their momentum, 64-47.

In the final canto, an 11-2 run by the Growling Tigers threatened the Tamaraws as their advantage was cut down to a single digit.

After calling a crucial timeout, the Morayta cagers were able to trade baskets with the España squad, enough to keep them at bay and seal the 79-72 win.

With the victory, FEU eliminates UST and secures a quarterfinals berth.

Looking at the crucial win, Coach Chambers mentioned how the team has shown flashes of improvement even when he was not around.

"I wanted to treat this game like a playoff game… We have shown some really good stretches and runs. Nothing against last year's team, but you can really see a different FEU team right now… We're gonna continue to get better. I really wanna give credit to my coaching staff, because they really took over the reins [while] I've been gone for a few weeks and the guys have continued to run our system," he stated.

Rookie Pre led the Tamaraws with an all-around game of 22 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Royce Alfroque followed in the scoring department with 15 off the bench.

Konateh and Jorick Bautista also pitched in with 12 markers each.

The FEU Tamaraws will face the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde Blazers in the crossover format between the UAAP and the National Collegiate Athletic Association schools on Saturday, June 8, at the same venue.

(Photo by Krystoffer Zyanel Bermudez/FEU Advocate)