FAR EASTERN University left its opponents jockeying for position as the Tamaraws secured the top spot with a perfect 6-0 record a full week before the end of the first round of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“Coach [Bo Perasol] gave us the UAAP standings and everyone’s jampacked right in the middle, except for FEU,” said Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena as the Blue Eagles try to fan their bid for a sixth straight crown despite a poor start.
“We know the possibilities if we just keep on winning. So that’s our goal—to improve and get healthy—and who knows, we might get the chance to be in the top two and enter the Final Four.”
University of Santo Tomas and Adamson rank second to FEU with similar 3-2 records, followed by University of the East and National University, both at 3-3.
Even fierce rivals La Salle (2-3) and Ateneo (2-4) aren’t too far behind despite their early struggles.
FEU coach Nash Racela is wary, though, that his Tamaraws’ could become overconfident as the tournament progresses.
“We want [the players] to have a certain level of confidence, but not too much,” said Racela. “It’s something we always guard against—the players thinking that they’re way better than everybody else.”
But there’s no denying that spitfirish FEU guard Terrence Romeo is among this season’s best. Romeo normed 21.5 points, three rebounds and three assists last week to earn the Accel 3XVI UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week presented by Gatorade.
“We haven’t proven anything until we reach our goal [of winning the title],” said Romeo, who bagged the citation for the second time in three weeks.
FEU also remained unstoppable in women’s action after dumping University of the Philippines, 68-31, to keep pace at 5-0 with La Salle, which routed UE, 63-35.