UAAP Season 80 Preview: New look, same goals for FEU Tamaraws
Coach: Olsen Racela
Last Season: 9-5 (Final Four)
Holdovers: Ron Dennison, Prince Orizu, Axel Iñigo
Additions: RJ Ramirez, Jasper Parker, Hubert Cani, Arvin Tolentino
Key Losses: Raymar Jose, Monbert Arong, Ken Holmqvist
Year after year, Far Eastern University has always been a contender for the UAAP title.
This season is no different for the Tamaraws — except for one thing: a new head coach in Olsen Racela.
Taking the mantle from his brother Nash, the PBA great seeks to continue FEU’s winning ways in his coaching debut in the collegiate scene after being in the pros for the past five years.
“I feel I’m here to continue the program of coach Nash. We’re still running the same system: the dribble-drive. But of course, I’m bringing in my own ideas as well,” he said.
It will be new Tamaraws squad under Racela with only Ron Dennison and Prince Orizu as the remaining players from the champion team which won the title two years back.
But this time, FEU will have the likes of RJ Ramirez, Jasper Parker, Hubert Cani, and Arvin Tolentino joining the fray to make for a solid challenger to the UAAP throne.
“Even though we are much smaller this year, we’ll make up with it through quickness because we’re a guard-based team,” said Racela.
Despite the different look, the emphasis on excellence remains the same as FEU seeks to stretch their Final Four appearance to five years straight.
But Racela doesn’t want to put too much pressure on his wards, simplifying his challenge to just give it their all every single game.
“Just like any other team, our realistic goal is to make the Final Four and then let’s see what happens from there,” he said. “But I always tell my players that no expectations, that what we expect from them actually is for them to play hard every single game, give it their best every single game, and the result will take care of itself.”
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