Coach Olsen Racela looks to further develop their players after UAAP 84

FEU Advocate
June 01, 2022 14:15

By Aimerose C. Atienza

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws Head Coach Olsen Racela expressed his contentment as the Morayta dribblers capped off the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 84 men’s basketball tournament with their eight straight Final Four appearance.

The men of the green-and-gold bid their goodbye to the tourney’s championship title after a crushing defeat in their Final Four matchup against the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles, 72-85, last May 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“Definitely, happy with us getting into the Final Four. Although, ‘yung result ngayon (the result now) is not really what we want. Still, I’m proud of my players and my team,” Racela said.

During the first round of eliminations, the FEU Tamaraws sported a 3-4 win-loss record which landed them in a lone fifth place just a game behind the National University (NU) Bulldogs. 

Entering the second round, FEU had surprise standouts with the likes of Bryan Sajonia, Patrick Sleat, James Tempra, Ximone Sandagon, and others who came off the bench that showed their impact on the team that helped them to reach the Final Four with a 7-7 win-loss slate.

“Well, ayun [the performance of Sleat, Sajonia, Tempra and Sandagon] ‘yung reason kung bakit (that was the reason why) we went this far. Really ‘yung production ng (the production of) other players coming off the bench,” Racela added.

If there is one thing that fell short for the Morayta-based squad, it is that FEU is still behind when it comes to the recruitment of the players which could eventually be a disadvantage for the Tamaraws next season.

Kami (Us), we always end up recruiting those players who have potential, not-ready players, not like the players that those other three teams recruit. So, kami during the pandemic, medyo na-dehado kami (us, during the pandemic, we were quite at a disadvantage) because we’re all about player development,” he said.

Nonetheless, the potential growth and development of the rest of the FEU roster gave Coach Olsen hopes for what the team can give in the years to come.

Marami tayo[ng] players na (We have a lot of players who), really, we want them to learn in this tournament, growth, katulad nga no’ng sinabi ko medyo bata pa sila (like what I said that they are still young). So, expect them to have bigger roles in the coming seasons. So, malaking bagay ito no’ng pinagdaanan nila ngayong Season 84 (what they have gone through in Season 84 is a big thing),” he stated.

Coach Olsen also said that he was hopeful that the team gained enough experience to conquer the next season with a better performance. 

(Photo courtesy of The UAAP)