FAR Eastern University entered the new season of the UAAP with little fanfare, but that could change on Wednesday as the Tamaraws try to remain unscathed when they take on five-time defending champion Ateneo in the resumption of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gametime is at 4 p.m.
FEU coach Nash Racela said they like being left out of the conversation regarding the favorites this season, but a second straight win and the provisional lead would thrust them in the limelight.
But the Tamaraws are the only opening-day winners seeing action on Wednesday, and a win will earn them the top spot in the leaderboard.
“That’s one of my requests, not to talk FEU much,” said Racela. “Masaya nga ako na hindi napag-uusapan ang FEU.”
That actually began to change, however, on Saturday when the Tamaraws stunned pre-tournament favorite University of the East, 89-78, in the opening game of the season. Terrence Romeo had an impressive outing with a near triple-double performance of 23 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.
They can definitely make more noise if they beat the Blue Eagles on Wednesday.
Even though Ateneo lost its first game against National University, Racela said the Blue Eagles are still dangerous opponents.
“You haven’t been talking much about Ateneo but they are in the top two. They have the talent. The only difference is that they are a smaller team. When you are smaller, it doesn’t mean na mahina ka,” Racela said.
“Ang nakakatakot sa Ateneo is the culture that they have. The oneness that they have is what I think ’yung magdadala sa kanila,” said Racela.
The Blue Eagles were beaten by the Bulldogs, 64-54, on Sunday, with Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena playing only eight minutes with an ankle sprain.
Ravena is eager to make up for the dismal display where he came up with two points on one of eight shooting.
“I’m sure to play. Hindi ko na siguro kailangang mag-tweet. I’m telling you guys that I’m going to play,” said Ravena.
Perasol, however, said the entire team should be more aggressive against FEU.
“Ang importante ay makahanap kami ng way na maging agresibo lang at wala kaming feeling na baggage na kung ano man,” Perasol said. “Just play the way we should play.”