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FEU’s golden UAAP 78 chronicled in new book ‘Dugout Diaries’

“If you do something important, write about it.”

Prof. Ed Garcia long firmly believed in this, so he jots down significant events and experiences he’s had in a diary. And he did the same when he became part of Far Eastern University’s athletics program in 2014.

Sir Ed, as he’s fondly called, serves as FEU’s consultant for the formation of scholar-athletes. He’s there every game, and he writes about it afterwards — not just for the sake of recording, but to help the young Tamaraws as well.

“After every game, I write my diary,” he shared.

“Can you imagine, for six years, I have written after every single game of the FEU Tamaraws. I write a diary and I send a letter to them to reflect on the game that was played and to reflect on the next game so they can refocus.

“For me, what I learned when I was in school is that if you do something important, you write about it. Because if you did not write about it, then perhaps it did not happen,” Garcia added.

The 77-year-old has written countless entries, but the most important of them all, surely, was that championship run in Season 78 that ended the schools’ decade-long title drought in UAAP men’s basketball.

Many stories about that historic campaign have been published, but a deeper look at how it all came about is being offered by Dugout Diaries: The Championship Run — authored by Garcia himself.

A virtual book launch was held last Dec. 2, the fifth anniversary of the feat. And it was attended by the figures who brought title no. 20 to Morayta, such as Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, and former head coach Nash Racela, among others.

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“I told Mac, Mike, I think RR Pogoy and others that it’s very important that we write about your history, your team’s achievements, because when you are grandfathers, you’ll be so proud to show this to your grandchildren,” Garcia said.

The FEU Publications-produced book has 48 pages that detail not just the golden run, but also the season prior. Then, the Tamaraws lost in the Finals versus National University, then underwent a rebuilding phase come Season 79.

“Of all the books I have done, this was one I enjoyed tremendously,” Garcia said.

FEU athletic director Mark Molina was among the editorial consultants, and he’s immensely proud of the book. For him, it didn’t only chronicle the journey to the crown, but also spoke plenty about the program as a whole and its values.

“It’s more than the 2015 team,” he said.

“Of course, there are a lot of stories of the 2015 championship, but it’s really a blueprint of how FEU teams should play. It’s really about the values of the FEU basketball program that we see here in Dugout Diaries.”

Racela, meanwhile, is simply grateful. “We are truly excited and very happy that our journey as a group to the Season 78 championship was documented in detail,” said the current Blackwater head coach in the PBA.

“From our practices to the games, and even ‘yung actual process natin of building our team — from our trips to Cebu and to our very own place in Silang, and to all those intense sessions in between.

“This is, for a lot of us, a once-in-a-lifetime experience which we will forever cherish. For sure, we will all look back to the time we achieved 20 in 2015,” the seasoned bench tactician furthered.

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Dugout Diaries: The Championship Run is available at the FEU Alumni Store and sells for Php 350.00.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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