Disastrous ending to ‘really bad’ FEU seasonBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Far Eastern University coach Bert Flores doesn’t mind going through another coaching rigodon after the powerhouse Tamaraws’ shock crash from the Final Four race following title stints in the last two seasons.
“It’s really disappointing,” said Flores. “We came from the Finals; we wanted to win the championship this time. But it wasn’t really for us. It’s up to the management [to decide on the team’s future].”
The Tamaraws’ season abruptly came to an end last Wednesday when La Salle fought back from a double-digit deficit in the closing minutes to hack out a 69-66 upset in the knockout duel for the last semifinal berth.
It was a disastrous close to the campaign of the Tamaraws, who even had a shot at nailing the No. 2 slot two weeks ago before closing out the season with three straight losses.
La Salle advanced to the Final Four against four-time champion Ateneo, while University of Santo Tomas and National University tangle in the other semifinal battle this Saturday.
“It was really a bad season,” said Flores after the Morayta-based crew failed to advance to the Final Four for the first time in five years.
“It was our poor execution in the endgame. We had a good start, but we didn’t finish strong. The same thing happened in the replay (against NU) and the two other games we needed to win.”
Flores said he has many capable deputies in the FEU bench, including former King Tamaraw and pro star Johnny Abarrientos.
The FEU coaching revamp isn’t new for Flores, the 2005 champion coach who was relegated to consultant when Glenn Capacio took over in 2007. Flores came back as head coach last year following Capacio’s resignation.
The FEU-La Salle playoff came after both teams finished in a tie with NU at 9-5 at the end of the eliminations. The Bulldogs secured the No. 3 spot due to a superior quotient.