Tamaraws got outhustled, outplayed by Tigers – Racela
It all boiled down to effort.
That was what coach Olsen Racela thought made the difference for University of Santo Tomas in its thrilling 76-74 victory over his Far Eastern University Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.
The entry of Aldin Ayo also came with a new identity for the Growling Tigers, who were hustling for every possible loose ball in the tightly contested matchup and dooming the Tamaraws.
“Aldin Ayo-coached teams really work hard, for them it’s all about putting in the effort because of their press,” said Racela. “The way they attack the basket, the way they get offensive rebounds, we had so many defensive breakdowns because of UST’s penetration.”
While UST outrebounded FEU, 49-42, the Growling Tigers crashed the boards when it mattered the most including nine of its total 21 offensive rebounds that turned into nine points in the payoff period.
Rookie CJ Cansino’s clean up of Garmy Mahinay’s miss with 31.5 seconds did not immediately translate into a bucket, but it led to an extra possession which proved crucial for the Growling Tigers.
Off a timeout following Cansino’s offensive board, rookie Ken Zamora drove the lane and left three Tamaraws in his wake for the layup that gave the Tigers a 76-71 buffer with 18.5 seconds remaining.
“We talked about the hustle points of UST especially the offensive rebounds,” said Racela whose team dropped to a 1-1 card. “They grabbed so many offensive rebounds, they were going for the loose balls, and we didn’t do that and that gave them confidence.”
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