WHETHER it be a Final Four or a stepladder format, Far Eastern University coach Olsen Racela remained satisfied after the Tamaraws clinched the No. 4 seed in the semifinals of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.
The Tamaraws could be facing top-seed Ateneo in the Final Four if the Blue Eagles bow to La Salle on Sunday in the clash of archrivals at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. FEU will have to win twice against Ateneo in a Final Four set-up.
FEU could also be facing the same Adamson team the Tamaraws beat on Saturday in a stepladder format playoff if Ateneo wins over La Salle to sweep the eliminations. The winner will face second-seed La Salle, which will hold a twice-to-beat advantage, for the right to face the Blue Eagles in the finals.
Racela said he is not concerned about the format the Tamaraws will go through in order to win the title.
“Kahit na ano,” Racela said. “Dadaan din naman kami sa butas ng karayom if ever. It doesn’t matter. Sa akin lang, ang iniisip ko, more than ‘yung kalaban namin, is ‘yung sarili namin going to the Final Four.”
The Tamaraws beat the Falcons, 71-54, to finish with a 7-7 record and clinch the fourth-seed entering the playoffs.
But Racela wants more out of his guys, hoping that the Tamaraws will go deeper into the next part of the season.
“Nasa Final Four na kami. We are happy but we are not contented,” said Racela.
Racela pointed out the Tamaraws ability to close out strong against third-seed Adamson, something that was missing against NU in which they lost despite converting a league-record 18 triples.
“Ganun ‘yung season namin. Nung first part of the season, we are having trouble starting games. Nung na-solusyunan na namin, ang problema naman namin, finishing games. Hopefully, that would carry us, give us momentum in the Final Four,” said Racela.