In Far Eastern University Tamaraws’ mastery of University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons last Sunday, 75-58, four cagers led FEU by scoring in double figures.
But it was Forward, Raymar Jose, that shone the brightest with his output of 11 points and 13 rebounds, plus the extra effort he gave in defending and outrebounding UP’s frontcourt players.
The Tamaraw faithful have been waiting for Jose to breakout ever since his breakout performance in the 2014 edition of the Filoil Flying V Premiere Cup tournament. The big man posted norms of 9.1 points and 5.7 boards during the tournament. However, Jose fell back into the rotation come the UAAP season, as the team had Anthony Hargrove and Carl Bryan Cruz.
In the post-game press conference, FEU Head Coach Nash Racela commended the six-foot-six big man’s performance. “Siya talaga ‘yung pinakamagaling na basurero sa’min,” said Racela, talking about the hustle Jose provides in the rebounding department. “Pulot ng pulot. Trademark na niya yun,” Racela added.
The soft-spoken Jose, however, downplayed the compliment, saying that he’s just doing his job for the team. “Ginagawa ko lang ‘yung part ko. Basta ready lang ako lagi ‘pag pinapasok ako,” Jose explained.
And with the “basurero” compliment by his coach? “Yun naman ‘yung tinatrabaho ko sa practice eh; siguro ‘yun na ‘yung resulta” said the wide-bodied Negrense.
“Lingid sa kaalaman ng nakararami, si Raymar Jose, after practices namin, umii-sprint yan mag-isa baseline to baseline. May sarili siyang routine, may oras siya. Natatakot ako baka masunog masyado, pero ganyan ang pagkakagawa sa kanya eh,” Racela shared.
When asked about his coach’s claims, Jose humbly backed it up. “Extra work lang ako palagi. Pinu-push ko lang ýung sarili ko kahit pagod na, kasi alam ko naman na malalaki ýung mga binabantayan ko, kaya dinadagdagan ko lang ’yung strength ko.”
Fellow frontcourt player, Russel Escoto, one of the Tams’veterans, could not be prouder with the way Jose is delivering the goods for the green-and-gold squad.
“Grabe, aggressive,” said Escoto, praising his teammate’s style of play. “Si Raymar, OK ‘yan. Kinukuha niya lahat ng rebounds. Sa offense, i-drop pass mo lang sa kanya sa loob, gagawa ‘yan.”
Even with all the vast improvements Jose has shown, Racela, however, is not fazed with how his player’s stock is rising. “Not surprised, because grabe siya magtrabaho,” admitted Racela.
And when asked about what he thinks separates Jose from other big men, Racela only uttered a single word. “Desire,” he said. “’Di mo ma-explain eh. Kahit ‘di mo siya puntahan, he’ll find ways to contribute,” Racela concluded.
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