- February 10, 2022 03:35
By Joaquin Luis E. Quesada
Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws capped off their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 84 men’s basketball campaign in their Final Four matchup against the defending champions Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles, 72-85, last May 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Tamaraws started off hot, but Ateneo caught up early and was able to tie the game at 16-all in the first frame. The Blue Eagles left FEU behind in the second quarter by scoring 33 points to take a comfortable 16-point lead at halftime, 33-49.
The Morayta dribblers brought down the lead to 13 points, 52-65, however, the defending champs always had an answer to any FEU’s scoring run throughout the second half.
“Siguro nagkulang kami sa defense namin kanina. So, ayun siguro ang kailangan namin pagtrabahuin next season (I think we lacked on the defensive end earlier. I think that is what we need to work on next season),” FEU star LJay Gonzales said after the loss.
FEU’s super rookie RJ Abarrientos led the way with 16 points on 15 shots, FEU’s graduating skipper Brandrey Bienes tallied 13 points on 5/8 shooting.
Another graduating Tamaraw Emman Ojoula posted a double-double performance of 13 points and grabbed 14 boards in his last game at the collegiate league and for FEU.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me by [the] FEU community, then it’s been a great learning experience [because]... this is the biggest stage I’ve played in, and I think I’ve learned a lot throughout the season,” Ojoula said.
FEU had a mediocre first round wherein they sported a 3-4 win-loss slate, they finished the second round with a tight 4-3 record to secure the Final Four spot for a historic eight straight season, the longest recorded streak in the tournament.
“Our initial goal really was to get [into] the Final Four first, and then see what happens from there. Malas lang kami palagi siguro (I think we were just unlucky), we always play or end up playing [against] Ateneo [in the] semis… This team has grown really this season… Ang hinahanap ko naman palagi sa kanila (What I always look for in them) is the growth during the season,” FEU Head Coach Olsen Racela said.
(Photo by Andrea Joy Gonzales/FEU Advocate)