Unified Garcia and Romeo key to FEU’s drive in UAAP 75By Mark Giongco
Dynamic duo when in sync, but often times dynamic do-it yourself.
“Nagkakanya-kanya sila (last season). So I told them you can’t carry the team by yourselves. You need to involve each other and involve your teammates,” Flores said in Filipino. “That was what we really focused on this summer.”
FEU can manage to win games with just Garcia and Romeo in some sort of a what-you-can-do-I-can-do-better contest and end up with 25 plus points each. They’re that good offensively.
But FEU won’t get over the hump with their overlapping tandem.
In last season’s Finals, it was evident. Flores said it himself moments after his team got demolished, 64-82, by Ateneo in Game 1: “Nung third quarter hindi na kami nag-ball movement, halos dalawa na lang ang tumatanggap ng bola namin.”
Flores then said of Romeo’s play: “Masyado niyang iniisip yung opensa kaya hindi na umiikot yung bola namin.”
“Masyado nilang tinitignan kung ano na ang score nila (Garcia and Romeo). Mahirap e. Kaya sabi ko sa kanila, hindi importante and score kailangan dito as a team. Tawag ako ng tawag ng play kaso gusto nung dalawa sa kanila e.”
Flores sounded like a broken record: Ball movement. They think about scoring too much. Our big men didn’t have their touches. And so on.
Clearly, he wants none of that hero ball this time around and he demands his two stars to share the leather.
“What I want them to do is to get the others involved.”
“More on assists. We can’t afford to just have RR and Terrence score 25 each because we’re easier to stop if that happens. That’s why I want them to get the others involved,” Flores told INQUIRER.net.
“They also watched the NBA Finals. Westbrook scored 45 and yet they lost. They saw what LeBron did, he facilitated,” said Flores, who also cited the loss of stopper Chris Exciminiano due to graduation as a big blow to his team.
Garcia, with a scorer’s mentality, is at his best with the ball and so is Romeo. And that’s what troubles Flores.
FEU will face an early test as it tangles with rival and fellow contender University of Santo Tomas in the opener on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
“We’re ready. We’re focused and we’re well prepared. Nag-improve na din yung samahan ng team,” said the former Rookie-of-the-Year Romeo.
Romeo also said it’s easy to get his teammates involved and with him and RR working together he explained: “Kung sino yung mainit sa amin suportahan na lang ng isa’t-isa, kung mainit siya (Garcia) bigay sa kanya lahat.”
The Tamaraws made the Finals in the last two seasons but on both occasions got swept by the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Despite Aldrech Ramos, Pippo Noundou and Exciminiano’s departure, FEU remains as a formidable team especially with the addition of athletic American import Anthony Hargrove.
“FEU is loaded and perhaps the deepest team,” said Adamson head coach Leo Austria, whose squad got knocked off by the Tamaraws in Season 74 despite a twice-to-beat edge.
Still though, it all boils down to that question.