Downward spiral leaves FEU Tamaraws fighting for survival
Talk about a downward spiral.
Far Eastern University once joined Adamson University and Ateneo atop the standings after the first round of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament when all three teams racked up 5-2 records.
Fast-forward to less than a month and the Tamaraws are in a tight spot in the fifth seed tied with University of the Philippines with 5-6 slates.
This sudden fall has FEU head coach Olsen Racela feeling bothered.
“It’s troublesome actually because we’re out of the Final Four picture and we have to figure out a way to win first,” said Racela.
Compounding Racela’s worry is the absence of center Prince Orizu who suffered a high ankle sprain on his left leg in the Tamaraws’ 82-62 loss to the Blue Eagles early in the second round.
Orizu, counting his exit in the Ateneo game, has already missed three games for the Tamaraws.
Racela’s team has a chance to correct its trajectory in its final three games in the season with the next two against bottom-dwellers University of the East and National University.
The Tamaraws will then face the Soaring Falcons in their last game of the preliminaries.
FEU already beat Adamson, 88-85, in the first round but Racela said he doesn’t look at the victory as a confidence-builder for their rematch.
“It actually doesn’t matter [that we beat them], we’re fighting for survival,” said Racela. “We cannot think about the Ateneo and Adamson wins because it won’t do us any good.”
“Our focus right now is to get one win in the second round and see what happens after that.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.