FEU hits rough patch after strong start
As the Final Four race starts to heat up, Far Eastern University finds itself stumbling on a bumpy track.
The Tamaraws were on top after the first round of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament but then, took a rough path to start the second round, dropping their first two games to tie De La Salle in the third spot of the standings.
But head coach Olsen Racela is not worried by the chaos, even as the battle has evidently become more competitive than ever for FEU.
“I don’t wanna look at the standings yet. We’re just gonna take it one game at a time,” Racela said in Filipino, whose team is also on a possible three-way tie with the Green Archers and UST if the Growling Tigers win their game on Sunday.
Racela said he’d rather focus on how his team will continue to compete, and “see what happens from there,” especially with top scorer Arvin Tolentino still suspended in their next game, and now with the still unclear status of Prince Orizu.
The big man sustained what appeared to be a shin injury with three minutes left in the first quarter in the Tamaraws’ loss to Ateneo, 82-62, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
He was grimacing in pain while being helped to the locker room.
“We don’t know [the status] yet. Hopefully, negative. But there’s no swelling. We’re hoping it’s just the muscle. He couldn’t put weight on it.”
“We still don’t know if Orizu will be there in our next game, so I have to figure things out how we will compete,” added Racela.
Orizu’s injury was a big blow for the Tamaraws as they could only watch Ateneo’s Angelo Kouame dominate the paint. Kouame finished with 33 points and 27 boards.
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