No pressure for focused Tamaraws
FAR EASTERN University may be the defending champion, but coach Nash Racela thinks the pressure weighs more on La Salle when the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament unfolds this weekend.
“Personally as a coach I don’t really feel it,” said Racela, noting that expectations on his Tamaraws won’t be the same following the graduation of last year’s champion core led by Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy.
“We don’t talk about it in FEU. We just remind [the players] to focus on their improvements, day to day.”
Racela said more eyes are on the preseason favorite Green Archers, who boast the veteran core of Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins and Thomas Torres, as well as the highly touted Cameroonian rookie Ben Mbala.
La Salle also tapped new coach Aldin Ayo, who joined the Archers last November, just a month after steering Letran to the NCAA crown on his rookie year.
“I think the pressure is on the other teams, especially La Salle, because people recognize that they’re really strong this year,” Racela told Sports IQ, Inquirer’s multi-platform sports talk show. The Tamaraws kick off their title defense versus the Archers at 4 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Mall of Asia Arena.
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