FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela offered no excuses on Wednesday, admitting the Tamaraws were outplayed from the get-go by a National University team facing elimination in Game Two of the UAAP men’s basketball finals.
Racela acknowledged the Bulldogs played superb defense while making nearly all the hustle plays in their 62-47 win at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum that sent the best-of-three title series to a deciding match next week.
The Tamaraws could not get out of a big hole after trailing, 16-3, in the first quarter. While they were able to cut the deficit to within six points in the final quarter, the Bulldogs were able to withstand the storm and held FEU to its lowest output in a game this season.
“We missed shots because they forced us to miss shots. NU played great defense today,” said Racela.
The FEU mentor specifically mentioned Mac Belo, who despite scoring 17 points, only converted five of his 13 shots from the field, mostly against NU’s Glenn Khobuntin.
“They were playing great defense against him. I think si Khobuntin has really done a good job against Mac. It’s on us to adjust,” he said.
Racela said the Tamaraws were obviously also outworked as shown by the 27-15 discrepancy on offensive rebounds.
“There were a lot of 50-50 balls na naunahan kami. It’s hard to win a game when you give them 27 extra possessions.
“We were just outhustled and outrebounded by NU,” said Racela.