CAN Far Eastern University respond to the challenge issued by the school president and win the UAAP men’s basketball crown this season?
Coach Nash Racela bared no less than FEU president Dr. Michael Alba challenged the Tamaraws to win the championship while in the middle of a nine-game winning run in Season 78.
“Actually, after the last game before we took a break (against Adamson last October 28), that was the question of the president of FEU to the players. What kind of character do you have?” said Racela, quoting Alba.
Unfortunately, the Tamaraws lost right in their first game since Alba uttered those heavy words, bowing to second-ranked University of Santo Tomas, 85-76, last Saturday.
Asked how the character of the team is at this point of the season is, Racela said, “If you base it on this game (against UST), siyempre hindi okay. But we still have a month to go.”
Despite the setback, FEU remained on top with a 10-2 record, but is in danger of losing the No. 1 seed in the Final Four to UST (10-3), which swept the Tamaraws in their head-to-head encounter this season.
Racela said the words of Alba hopefully would be a timely one for the team and serve as motivation for the Tamaraws to go strong as the season winds down.
“I think that was just a challenge to the players. And we are hoping that they would answer in the positive,” said the FEU coach.
“We’ll see. And maybe, you’ll have the answer. You don’t even have to ask me about it,” Racela told reporters.