- December 16, 2023 03:10
The Far Eastern University (FEU) Men’s Basketball Team shared their preparations and enthusiasm on the upcoming 84th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) after it was canceled for two years.
Last February 28, the collegiate league formally announced that Season 84 will start on March 26 for selected tournaments, including men’s basketball.
“Sobrang excited kami kasi two years namin ‘to hinintay, ‘di ba naudlot pa noong akala namin unang pandemic matuloy [‘yung games] ng September…Two years alam mo ‘yun… alam mo ‘yung feeling na nanalo ka sa lotto (We are very excited because we have been waiting for two years, it didn’t happen when we thought in the first pandemic that the season would continue in September? [It’s been] two years, you know that, do you know the feeling like you won the lottery),” New Team Captain Brandrey Bienes shared in an online interview with the FEU Advocate.
FEU Head Coach Olsen Racela shared that he and his staff recognized getting their players back into game shape was the “very crucial” aspect during their early practice sessions.
The strict observance of the team in the health and safety protocols of the bubble training designated in one of the other FEU campuses located in Diliman is followed.
“‘Yung CHED (Commission on Higher Education) and a representative from DOH (Department of Health) ata (I think), inspected the campus. Part of the FEU Diliman campus, cinordoned off ‘yun eh. Talagang walang makakapasok do’n (it was cordoned off. No one really can enter there) except for team members… FEU has followed the health and safety protocols,” Coach Olsen Racela said.
This time around, standouts from FEU Baby Tamaraws Cholo Anonuevo, Royce Alfoque, and Former Batang Gilas Rhon Jhay Abarrientos adds depth to the fresh composition of this year’s squad after Senior players chose to forgo their playing years over the long break.
“Sobrang excited ako [makalaro sila], si Royce naging teammate ko ‘yan [no’ng] high school, si Cholo hindi. Sobrang excited ako na may kasama na naman akong bago na maglalaro, ayun matutulong nila ako [at] matutulungan ko rin sila (I am so excited to play with them, Royce was my teammate back in high school, and Chollo wasn’t. I'm so excited that I have new roommates to play with, so they can help me and I can help them too),” FEU MBT senior LJay Gonzales said.
The Morayta dribblers are composed of either rookies or sophomores for this Season 84, Coach Racela acknowledges this challenge in maintaining the winning mindset at FEU.
“It’s going to be a challenge because in the past years, sanay tayo ng maraming holdovers or veterans. Batang team ito eh. They know that very rich ‘yung tradition natin [dito] sa FEU of making it to the Final Four, that’s our really primary goal (It’s going to be a challenge because, in the past years, we are used to having a great number of holdovers or veterans… This is a young team. They know that there is a very rich tradition here in FEU of making it to the Final Four, that’s our really primary goal),” Racela remarked.
For Bienes, this season will never be a walk in the park since they have not seen their opponents play for two years.
But it will not faze a brave Tamaraw as Coach Olsen Racela always preached to his players that whatever comes along their way they must channel their inner “Be Brave” spirit.
“I always tell my players to embrace the ‘Be Brave spirit. No matter what happens, no matter what you go through during games and sometimes in life. Laban lang, ayun ang sinasabi ko sa mga players’ (Always fight, that is what I tell to my players),” Racela mentioned.
The skipper promised that the FEU Men’s Basketball team will always play hard and try their best to win games, one step at a time.
“Hindi na namin kayo [papakitaan] na kunwari hindi kami ready sa laro (We won’t show you anymore that we are not ready in the game),” Bienes emphasized.
The Tamaraws will finally parade what they prepared for the UAAP starting March 26 after two years of no collegiate sports. With reports from Joaquin Luis E. Quesada.
- Adrian Earl E. Taruc
(File Photo by Precious Diamond Farro/FEU Advocate)