UAAP’s last unbeaten squad faces tough schedule aheadBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ALTHOUGH satisfied with Far Eastern University’s recent game, coach Bert Flores said the Tamaraws must gear up for the tough teams standing in the way of their first-round sweep bid.
As the only unbeaten squad left, the Tamaraws need to conquer only three more opponents to match their impressive 7-0 start in the 2010 season of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“It’s good that we’re at 4-0,” said Flores. “It’s better than trying to catch up with other teams [in the standings]. But our next games are tough.”
Ateneo, the powerhouse crew vying for a fifth straight championship, and preseason pick National University are two of the Tamaraws’ last three foes.
Both the Eagles and the Bulldogs have been pegged as tournament favorites.
Flores said the Tamaraws may need to replicate their best performance yet this season, a 92-66 drubbing of the University of the East last Sunday.
“That was good enough,” said Flores, who didn’t like their series of escape acts where the Tamaraws won three games by just an average of two points. “We minimized our turnovers, had better assists and our bench contributed.”
Terrence Romeo, the league’s top rookie two seasons ago, keyed the Tamaraws’ strong start by averaging a team-best 16.3 points, six rebounds and 4.3 assists in four games.
“It’s our fighting spirit and mental toughness that’s helping us win,” said Romeo, who also bagged the UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week award, the citation given by sports scribes covering the collegiate beat and Accel 3XVI.
But for former MVP RR Garcia, his improved partnership with Romeo makes the Tamaraws click this year.
“We’re sharing the ball more,” said Garcia. “Our teamwork is better.”