FAR Eastern University coach Olsen Racela doesn't believe his side is already out of the UAAP Season 85 Final Four race, insisting his crew has what it takes to hang with the rest of the field.
"I base it not on our record but the past four or five games namin. If we play that way, I like our chances," he said of the state of his team and its 4-6 (win-loss) record.
The Tamaraws started the season on the wrong foot by losing all five games, but Racela's crew turned things around and won their next four.
Even though FEU's four-game win streak came to an end end with a 71-60 defeat to National University, Racela is pleased with how his boys have been competing against the league's top-ranked teams.
"It showed that we can compete with any team in the UAAP with our present lineup eh. As long as we stay consistent with playing to our strengths, we have a chance. Yun naman ang goal namin eh, di ba?" he said.
"Di kami ganoon kalakas but with our defense, we hope to stay close to teams and hopefully, in the end, win it."
Racela is looking at the two-week break as a chance for the Tamaraws to recalibrate all the more with L-Jay Gonzales looking to heal up from his strained plantar fascia on his right foot.
"We hope to have L-Jay back. Doon namin nami-miss si L-Jay pag kailangan namin ng puntos, siya yung pinupuntahan namin. We hope to have him back sa next game," he said, while also counting on the likes of Bryan Sajonia, Xyrus Torres, and Patrick Sleat to continue to step up.
"We'll definitely use the break to get better just like the other teams. Grabe yung nilaro din namin the past 10 days, so kailangan magpahinga din, recover sila, then another stretch of four games after 10 days so we'll get ready for that. We'll definitely need the break for us to improve."