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Racela hopes UST loss wakes-up experienced Tamaraws

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The Far Eastern University Tamaraws have been coasting through the competition prior to their 76-85 loss against the UST Growling Tigers in the Smart Araneta Coliseum last November 7, 2015.

The veteran core of the Tamaraws have always said that they are not content with what they have shown during the team’s nine-game winning streak. In one of their post-game pressers, Russel Escoto said that “hindi pa kami satisfied sa performance namin. Hindi kami consistent kaya dikit ang mga laro namin.” Smart Elite ambassador Mac Belo shared the same sentiment in saying, “kulang pa kami sa depensa. Hindi pa ito ang tunay na laro namin.”

Last Saturday’s loss granted their neighbors a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four while the Tamaraws now have to win against the National University and De La Salle University to clinch the same.

For Tamaraws coach Nash Racela, the loss wasn’t the end of the world. “Actually it might be a blessing in disguise because assuming nga kunwari nanalo kami ngayon, I don’t know how my players would look like in the next two weeks when we play NU and La Salle,” the third year FEU coach said. “Those are games crucial going into the Final Four. They’ll be more focused sa last two games.”

The Tamaraws conceded 28 fouls in the game, which gave the Growling Tigers 34 free throw attempts. Racela was surprised with the fouls and added that his side have averaged only eighteen this season. He then admitted that defensive woes may have cost his team. “I think it really wasn’t the offense that was the problem. It was more the defense allowing them to have 34 free throws. I think that was the result of our defense eh.“

UST’s old dog Karim Abdul led the Growling Tigers to the win via his 23 points and five rebounds. Racela praised Abdul’s qualities and noted that the Tamaraws have to come up with a solution to neutralize him in any post-season encounter. “Kasi si Abdul is a very experienced player. He has so many minutes in-game kaya beterano na siya so he knows how to play the game.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Racela hopes UST loss wakes-up experienced Tamaraws    “Mahirap siyang depensahan sa loob and when you put a bigger guy on him, he’ll play outside; a smaller guy, inside.”

Racela revealed that no less than current FEU President Dr. Michael Alba had challenged the Tamaraws for the critical run-in this season. “What kind of character do we have?,” Dr. Alba had asked the players and Racela hoped that his Tamaraws would be able to answer in a positive note.

Racela concluded, “We still have one month to go. We’ll see. Maybe you’ll have your answer. I think that was just a challenge eh to the players and we’re hoping they could answer on the positive.”

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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