Graduating Tamaraws leave mark at FEU
The names Axel Iñigo, Richard Escoto, Jasper Parker, and RJ Ramirez would never get into a conversation about being the best players in the UAAP for the past five years.
Those names are sure stable players when they play their roles but they’re no superstars.
Still those four helped construct the Tamaraws’ backbone for several years in the UAAP.
“I already thanked them earlier,” said FEU head coach Olsen Racela after the Tamaraws exited the UAAP Season 81 Final Four following an 80-61 loss to Ateneo 80-61 Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“JR [Parker] is one of the quickest guards we have in the UAAP, RJ provided us with so much energy and it just so happened that we have so many guards in this roster and that cut off his playing time but I appreciate his patience,” added Racela.
Parker and Ramirez didn’t spend the whole five years with the Tamaraws in the UAAP as both were transferees from Southwestern University in Cebu and Humber College in Toronto, respectively.
“I thank FEU for giving me the things to take to the next level,” said Parker. “My teammates and I created a brotherhood off the court that you can take for the rest of your lives, they’re friends for life, so I’m thankful.”
“I’m super thankful for playing with these guys, playing under coach Olsen,” said Ramirez. “I learned a lot of new things, just being patient and learning a lot from him.”
Iñigo also didn’t play the whole five-year UAAP eligibility with FEU since he started his collegiate career with Adamson University but he was already there when the Tamaraws lost to the Blue Eagles in the Season 79 Final Four, which started a string of three straight semifinal losses to Ateneo.
“Right now I have mixed emotions because I’m sad and happy because it feels so good to wear that FEU uniform because I was with Adamson for the first two years,” said Iñigo in Filipino. “When I got to FEU I became a better student, a better person, and FEU really gave me everything.”
But if there was ever a Tamaraw for almost his school educational life it has to be Richard Escoto who went to FEU Diliman in high school.
“I want to thank FEU for giving me the eight years I had, from high school to college I was already here,” said Escoto who also played with older brother Russell in college, in Filipino “To the coaches, the bosses, the community, and of course the students, thank you for the support.”
“Axel is one of my smartest players and I wouldn’t be surprised if he coaches someday,” said Racela. “You can’t discount Richard’s heart, he’s undersized but he makes up for it with hard work and a fighting heart.”
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