FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela believes game officials hampered the Tamaraws’ performance in the first half, while giving the Ateneo Blue Eagles some leeway.
"I don't know. I think the refs took out our aggressiveness while allowing the other team to be aggressive," said Racela without elaborating.
FEU absorbed its second straight loss and is now tied with Ateneo at 8-4, with two games to play in the eliminations.
Racela said FEU was only able to play the way they have all season long only in the second half when they erased a 23-point lead.
Thanks in large part to Raymar Jose's heroics in the final quarter, FEU pulled to within seven with under three minutes left, but the Blue Eagles still went on to repulse the Tamaraws.
"I'd like to focus on the second half because that's the FEU brand of basketball we're the ones attacking on both ends," he said.
"That's something they took away from us in the first half. We were trying to be aggressive in the first half but they didnt allow us."
But Racela says he doesn't want to dwell on the loss, adding they still have a chance to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
"There's an end to a streak. We will look to end that one," he said.
"We just want to focus on the next game because it all depends on that. The value of the last game depends on the next game. dun muna kami sa susunod."