Final 4 experience doesn’t give FEU clear edge over UST, says Racela
MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas are only four years removed from their finals series in 2015 but so much has happened between the two teams.
The Tamaraws, who took the title in Season 78, have been to four straight Final Fours since then while the Growling Tigers, the top seeds after the elimination round of that year, are making their first appearance in the semifinals for the first time in four years.
The usual convention would say that FEU holds the advantage in terms of being a more experienced program but head coach Olsen Racela says otherwise.
“I think at this point there really is no advantage, as a program yes we’re perennial Final Four contenders but half of my team are rookies,” said Racela in Filipino Friday at FEU Diliman.
“When it comes to Final Four experience, they don’t have it, so I really don’t consider this as an advantage. Although I have veterans so hopefully they can share their experience with the new guys.”
FEU has six of its players playing in their first season in the UAAP but it does have veteran Wendell Comboy who was part of the champion team of 2015.
Nevertheless, Racela said they’re looking to build on their 72-58 win over the Growling Tigers in the second round of the eliminations.
“The only thing that win gave to us was the confidence that we can beat UST because we know how strong that team is,” said Racela whose Tamaraws lost in the first round, 82-74.