FAR Eastern University got quality competition in a pocket tournament in Iloilo, according to head coach Olsen Racela, and the Tamaraws look to play more.
The Tamaraws, preparing for Season 82 of the UAAP, ruled the Passi Invitational Inter-Collegiate basketball tournament, beating University of the Philippines in the championship game, 67-62.
“We played UP, NU, and USJR so maganda ‘yung quality ng competition,” said Racela, noting the participation of UP's Ricci Rivero and Juan Gomez de Liano, while NU had Gilas cadet Troy Rike.
Racela said FEU and UP had secured finals spots before their prelims matchup, but the atmosphere in the no-bearing match was like a title showdown.
“As early as our third day, alam na kung sino nasa finals. ‘Yung first gane namin was basically a no-bearing game between FEU and UP. But we still played as if it was a championship game. So back-to-back games, ang ganda ng laro. Magandang preparation for all the UAAP teams,” Racela said.
Racela said FEU plans to join more tournaments both local and abroad before the UAAP season begins.
“We have another pocket tournament either Davao or try to look at Taiwan. After that, UAAP na,” said Racela.
In that period, Racela will be determining FEU’s final 16 for the coming UAAP season.
“18 kami sa pool. A month before the season, magbabawas pa ako ng dalawa,” said Racela.