NO one is celebrating in the Far Eastern University camp, even if the Tamaraws are currently at the top of the UAAP standings.
As coach Bert Flores had correctly pointed out, the Tamaraws' 2-0 (win-loss) record could've easily been 0-2.
“Two-zero nga kami pero sinasabi ko sa mga players na puwede kaming maging 0-2 dahil lahat puro ‘heart-attack’ game,” said Flores referring to victories which came by an average margin of just 1.5 points.
After escaping with a 73-72 win over University of Santo Tomas in their season debut, the Tamaraws needed a late Mike Tolomia jumper on Sunday to hold off a confident La Salle side, 48-46.
“Okey lang naman nasasanay sila sa close game pero hindi mo rin puwedeng ikatuwa ‘yung laging last-second shot makakapanalo,” Flores said.
FEU could be in for another close fight against Adamson on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Falcons are winless but have an ax to grind against the Tamaraws, who ousted them in the Final Four last season.
“Galit sa amin ‘yan dahil sa nangyari last year,” Flores said. “Sigurado ako na magiging intense ang laro kaya kailangan naming sabayan ‘yung intensity at aggressiveness nila.”
The Falcons bowed to Ateneo, 73-57, last July 15 but got an unexpected breather after their match against University of the East last Saturday was called off due to tropical depression ‘Pedring.’
National University, meanwhile, looks to recover from a dismal setback when it faces University of the Philippines in the first game at 2 p.m., also at the Big Dome.
The Bulldogs,tagged as one of the favorites after an impressive preseason campaign, were humbled by four-time defending champion Ateneo, 65-89, last Sunday.
“We want to bounce back strong from that loss,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “Admittedly, Ateneo really played well from both ends of the court that is why they are the champions.
“Our mindset now is that we want to focus on the things we want to do on defense because we didn’t take away what Ateneo wanted to do in our last game,” Altamirano said.
Even though UP is coming off a loss and an 11-day break, Altamirano is cautious of the Maroons, who lost to La Salle, 73-68, last July 15.