IT could be the ambiance.
Last April, Far Eastern University began holding practices from its old gym in Morayta to a newly-built sports complex located in its high school campus in Diliman, Quezon City.
The transfer from crowded Morayta to serene Diliman obviously worked wonders as the Tamaraws are just one step away from winning their first UAAP men’s basketball championship since 2005.
“Sa Diliman kasi, 10 minutes away from Commonwealth. Masarap ang hangin dito. Sa Morayta, hindi conducive,” admitted coach Nash Racela, who spent his first year as FEU mentor holding team practices in Morayta.
Located near a few villages in Quezon City, the FEU-Diliman Sports Complex was completed early this year in the hope of helping boost the school’s sports program.
Aside from a football field made of artificial turf that was used in last year’s football tournament, the sports complex also has a three-story building where the basketball gym is also located.
Following its completion, the Tamaraws started to hold their practices away from the main campus prior to the start of UAAP Season 77.
The shift in practice venue was also considered following the string of controversies that hounded FEU players off the court the past few years, the most alarming when Mac Baracael, now with Barangay Ginebra, was shot just a few meters away from the university gym.
Now FEU players are also quartered at the Diliman campus, which helps them stay focused during the season.
“Less distraction kaysa Morayta,” said the FEU coach. “Paglabas mo kasi ng gym (in Morayta), nandoon na lahat.”
Racela said the move to Diliman has also allowed their players to get more focused on their education.
The plan of the school, according to Racela, is for other sports to have the same set-up in the future.
“May set-up na nasa Diliman sila tapos ‘yung mga professors nila from Morayta, pupunta sa Diliman. If maging successful, eventually pati ‘yung ibang sports ganun din,” he said.