THE loss of Far Eastern University to La Salle in the semifinals of the Filoil Premier Preseason Cup proved that the Tamaraws have a long way to go in their preparation for the UAAP, according to head coach Olsen Racela.
After topping Group B with the loss of just one game, the Tamaraws’ title hopes were dashed by a 78-53 loss to a La Salle side that barely made it to the quarterfinal round as the fourth seed in Group A.
Racela said the La Salle defeat only revealed how their 7-1 record was misleading after FEU was bracketed in a relatively weaker Group B.
“Deceiving ‘yung aming 7-1 win-loss record nung eliminations at nakita natin ‘yun sa playoffs,” the rookie FEU coach said. “Lahat ng pumasok, galing sa kabilang grupo. Reality check for the players na nakita ng mga players na marami pa kaming kailangang gawin to reach where we want to be.”
Incidentally, FEU’s loss to La Salle came just as the newly released schedule of the UAAP for Season 80 showed a match pitting the Tamaraws and the Green Archers right in the opening weekend of the collegiate league on September 9.
“’Yung nasaan na kami, ‘yun ang sinabi ko sa kanila. Itong game na ‘to, nagpakita na malayo pa kami,” said Racela.
The loss also revealed the Tamaraws' problems in terms of execution on offense, Racela added.
“Marami kaming lapses in the game, things that we normally do in practice or in games na hindi namin nagawa. Magaling ang La Salle mag-disrupt to take away ‘yung rhythm and I felt na na-frustrate kami buong game and we can’t get our game going,” said Racela.
“Pero may mga flashes of good things, pero kailangan kapag kalaban ang La Salle, hindi mo sila puwedeng bigyan ng advantage dahil mahirap maghabol. At least, na-experience nila ‘yung ganung klaseng laro,” he added.
The good news for FEU is that they still have nearly three months to regroup before the UAAP season.
“We will have a break ngayon after Filoil and resume after a week. Then, tuluy-tuloy na ang preparation for the season,” said Racela.