DE La Salle can't expect Far Eastern University to take in easy in their crucial UAAP game.
Even with nothing to play for, FEU coach Nash Racela said the Tamaraws will be going all out in the game against the Green Archers, who need to win to salvage a playoff for the fourth and last berth in the Final Four.
“You are not teaching the right things if you tell your team not to do your best," said Racela. "That’s the objective. We will prepare against La Salle the same way we prepared against NU.”
Win or lose, the Tamaraws are already assured of the No. 2 spot and are set for a playoff against Ateneo where they will hold a twice-to-beat advantage.
The final match of the eliminations, however, holds a lot more bearing for La Salle, which is looking to force a playoff with idle National University for the last ticket to the semifinals.
Racela, in fact, is still riled by the Tamaraws' loss to NU last Saturday in another game they could afford to lose. FEU's defeat consequently knocked off the University of the East Warriors from the playoff race.
The FEU coach said he would've wanted to return a favor to UE, whose win over Ateneo in the same playdate assured the Tamaraws of twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
“The objective before the game (against NU) was to win. In the first place, we should be thankful to UE for winning against Ateneo that gave us the (twice-to-beat) incentive," he said.
"At the same time sana, we want to repay them by winning (against NU) so that they’ll have a chance,” Racela added. “I apologize to them. We had too many lapses on defense, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Racela said the Tamaraws will be taking the same mindset against La Salle.
“It’s still the same, win the game,” said Racela, when asked what will be their goal for the game. “I understand that it doesn’t change our position but it’s important to them. We go to every game with the intention to win.”
Despite the late-season wobble, Racela dismissed the notion that an FEU side that won nine successive games at one point in the elims may have peaked too early.
“You go up, you go down, and you go up again,” said Racela. “We may lose three to four games, but if you win the more important games, that’s the thing that we reminded them.”