THE FAR Eastern University Tamaraws know that more work should be put in even if they are the lone unbeaten team early in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“You can’t base it on three games; it’s a long season,” said FEU coach Nash Racela. “I always say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Hopefully, we continue to execute well and play better as a team.”
The Tamaraws, who had been drawing sensational outings from veteran guards Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, shoot for a fourth straight victory against a rejuvenated La Salle squad at 4 p.m. today at Mall of Asia Arena.
“La Salle is a tough team,” Racela said of the Archers, who are coming off a confidence-boosting win over fierce rival Ateneo, 82-73. “We have to guard against complacency.”
University of Santo Tomas and University of the East, though, have to deal with the absence of their vital cogs in the first game at 2 p.m.
The Tigers—locked in a four-way tie at 2-1 with the Archers and idle teams National University and Adamson—hope to rebound from a first loss without team captain Jeric Teng.
Although a shoulder bone fracture or dislocation had been ruled out, Teng is expected to rest the injury he sustained during the Tigers’ defeat to the Bulldogs, 71-67, last Wednesday.
The Warriors also try to recover from a second loss minus African center Charles Mammie, who got slapped with a one-game suspension for incurring two unsportsmanlike fouls in just three outings.
UE coach Boycie Zamar, however, appealed to league officials yesterday to lift the sanction on the 6-foot-7 Mammie.
But with or without Mammie, Zamar said his Warriors need to regain their drive during their successful summer run.
“It’s all mental,” said Zamar. “I know the players are still trying to learn to be winners.”