Former Tamaraw Belo: FEU showed 'unbelievable heart' | Inquirer Sports

Former Tamaraw Belo: FEU showed ‘unbelievable heart’

/ 11:08 PM November 30, 2016

In this file photo, Mac Belo lifts the trophy during Far Eastern University's championship conquest in the UAAP Season 78. Belo was in attendance on Wednesday when the Tamaraws lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Final Four. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

In this file photo, Mac Belo lifts the trophy during Far Eastern University’s championship conquest in the UAAP Season 78. Belo was in attendance on Wednesday when the Tamaraws lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Final Four. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

This time, there’s no Mac Belo for Far Eastern University to save the day.

The defending champions bowed out of the UAAP Season 79 in a heartbreaker on Wednesday, losing to Ateneo, 69-68, in overtime.

But for the hero who propelled the Tamaraws to the Finals for the past two years, he couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with the way his former team fought this past season, considering the team lost six of their key cogs from last year’s championship squad.

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“The way FEU played, I’m proud to see them. Their heart was unbelievable and they did their best, so whatever happened to them is fine with me,” Belo said.

FEU almost pulled off another Final Four stunner, but Ron Dennison’s basket failed to beat the buzzer as the Blue Eagles booked its return to the finals.

This was a stark contrast from the past years, when Belo played heartbreaker against La Salle in the 2014 semifinals with a three and did the same to Ateneo last year with a last-second putback.

“Sayang kasi nagkulang lang ng isang segundo (It’s unfortunate because we fell a second short.),” he said.

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Belo, though, accepted his school’s fate and believes that this could only drive the Tamaraws stronger for next season, where they will serve as hosts.

“It’s just the way it is: there will be winners and there will be losers. These moments will be the ones which will make them more mature. I know they will use this as a motivation for next year because I also experienced this before,” he said.

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Belo also believes that though coach Nash Racela will be leaving to call the shots for TNT in the PBA, the kind of culture the mentor developed will remain the same whoever takes charge for FEU next year.

“What coach Nash laid down, it will continue. Hopefully, the next head coach will be from coach Nash’s staff because he has already shaped our culture and we’re thankful for him for doing that,” he said.

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“Hopefully, next year will be good for us. With the way the team played this season, they have a big chance to compete again next year.”

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Basketball, FEU Tamaraws, Final Four, La Salle Green Archers, Mac Belo, Nash Racela, Ron Dennison, UAAP Season 79

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