Denok Miranda on first coaching year: “Losing is learning”

FEU Advocate
November 18, 2023 09:57

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws head coach Denok Miranda kept his eyes on the silver lining after concluding their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 86 men’s basketball tourney with a 53-57 loss to University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers earlier today, November 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

“Losing is learning eh… So lahat ng natutuhan ko this season i-aapply ko sa next season (Losing is learning. Everything I learned in this season I will apply in the next),” he said in a post-game interview.

The Tamaraws had a rocky start to their final game, concluding their first quarter with only nine points.

Though they outscored UST in the second frame, FEU trailed as much as 12 and were down by double digits heading into halftime, 27-37.

As with most of the games in their season 86 campaign, the green-and-gold second unit failed to carry over the productivity of the starters, scoring only 10 bench points to UST’s 18.

After halftime, the Tams proceeded to struggle with their scoring. FEU had numerous careless turnovers and only their shots within the perimeter went in.

In the fourth quarter, captain LJay Gonzales neared fouling out after logging three straight fouls in consecutive UST possessions. 

Gonzales remained scoreless until 4:03 minutes left of the final quarter, where he aced a euro-step lay.

With 3:15 seconds left, Gonzales made a key steal leading to a fastbreak layup by leading scorer Jorick Bautista.

After a successful stop in the following possession, Gonzales successfully tipped in his own missed attempt, chipping the deficit to four. 

With 17 seconds left, Bautista drilled a crucial three-pointer at center-court to cut the lead to three.

The Tamaraws failed to get a stop in the following possessions, ending regulation 53-57.

Bautista led the pack with 17 points while Morayta bigman Miguel Ona chipped in eight points and nine rebounds.

FEU seniors Mo Faty, James Tempra, and team Captain LJay Gonzales played their final UAAP game. 

When asked what the remaining players need to get them over the hump next season, Tempra preached discipline.

“For me ‘yung pagiging disiplinado sa court tsaka sa labas ng court. Maging consistent sila [at] sumunod sa gameplan ng coaches (For me, its the discipline on and off the court. They should be consistent and follow the game plan of the coaches),” Tempra said.

Amidst rumors of offers from professional teams overseas, Gonzales emphasized that his first priority in the offseason would be rehab.

Sa ngayon, wala pa siguro. Magpapa-ano ng bone spur, ipapa-tanggal ko muna. Pagkatapos ‘nun, mag-rerehab. Then, let’s see (None as of now. I will have my bone spur removed first and then I will enter rehabilitation. Then, lets see),” he added.

Graduating Tamaraws James Tempra, Mo Faty, and Gonzales chipped in 10, five, and four markers, respectively.

FEU finished their season 86 campaign with a 3-11 win-loss record. This season now holds the record for the fewest wins in FEU men’s basketball history.

(Photo by Ralph Castro/FEU Advocate)