Newly launched ‘Dugout Diaries’ highlights FEU men’s basketball 20th UAAP gold journey

FEU Advocate
December 11, 2020 03:10

By Trisha Marie L. Abuyan

In celebration of the fifth anniversary of Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws’ 20th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball championship title in season 78, Dugout Diaries—a collection of Ed “Sir Ed” Garcia’s journal from every game during the 2015 title run was launched last December 2 via Zoom Conference.

The 48-page book contains the quest of the 2015 championship team, including the current Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars: Mac Belo, Russel Escoto, Mike Tolomia, and RR Pogoy, headed by coach Nash Racela.

Outline of the success

But as much as it highlights how the 20th title was claimed, Athletic Director Mark Molina stated that this diary unfolds the blueprint of FEU gameplay.

"It is really a blueprint of how FEU teams should play. It’s really about the value of the FEU Basketball Program that we see here in the diary,” Molina claimed.

With this gold, the Morayta-based squad currently holds the most number of championship titles in history of the tourney and coach Nash is looking forward to claiming another title next year if UAAP continues amidst the pandemic.

“Let us all continue to battle, and [to] be brave and let’s charge to 21 in 2021,” Racela said.

Before the most-awaited victory, Sir Ed entered the team in 2014 as a consultant in honing the student-athletes. For six years, he was writing about every single game of the Tamaraws to reflect on the game and to the upcoming plays.

He also shared that this book will help inspire the future athletes to do better.

“Once upon a time, we were champions and we claimed it. We fought hard to make it happen and we want you to recognize this, that maybe you can even do better so that’s looking towards the future. This is a prologue to the future,” Garcia stated.

Enter the X-factor

The entrance of Garcia was a bliss to the team because he became not just an adviser inside the court, but also a friend off-court. He gave his players the positivity they needed, taught how important reliance as a Tamaraw is, and instilled the ‘never give up’ mantra.

He then shared how the dugout was symbolic to the team, serving as a venue to recollect, to come back together, and to raise their spirit coming on the court. 

But most importantly, it witnessed the bond and camaraderie among the players. Dugout—as what Garcia described—is where “magic meets mystery.”

Former FEU Tamaraws also shared how the ‘marathon mentality’ developed by Garcia helped them to complete their Cinderella run in the UAAP Finals. This mentality features that it is not how you started but how you finished.

Looking back, the 20th title almost slipped out of their hands when they were down seven points midway in the fourth quarter. 

But the team showed their brave hearts and snatched the game with a late-game comeback run against rival team University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.

“When RR Pogoy scores a three that was the dagger, and of course Mike Tolomia scores a layup. The game was over in an instant… The capacity of the team to come back alive. That is the meaning of a brave heart,” Garcia shared as he reminisced about their winning moment.

Garcia wants to share more about FEU Tamaraws’ journey and mentioned that he is looking forward to publishing his two-volume book about the journey of the women's volleyball team. For him, only a well-built team can secure a championship.

“Stars can win games, but it is only a hone team that can win a championship,” he concluded.

(Photo retrieved from FEU Advocate’s coverage of UAAP 78 Finals - Game 3)