PRINCE Orizu's injury threw a wrench into Far Eastern University's gameplans, coach Olsen Racela bared.
"The injury to Prince was obviously not planned. Hes the only one that can match up to (Angelo) Kouame," he said.
Without the Nigerian big man manning the paint for the Tamaraws, the Blue Eagle from Ivory Coast lorded down low on his way to a monster statline of 33 points and 27 rebounds in Ateneo's 82-62 win over FEU on Saturday.
Orizu hurt his left shin after going for a post move against Kouame and had to be subbed out with two minutes and 59 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
He no longer returned, leaving Racela without anyone to matchup against the hulking Atenean.
"We did things that we didn't normally do in the second half just to keep the game close," he said as the Tamaraws desperately hung on for dear life before getting steamrolled and staring at a lead as high as 23 numerous times in the second half.
Still, it was a valiant effort for the boys from Morayta, with Racela himself lauding them for the fight they gave against Ateneo.
"I told the guys I'm proud with the way we fought today. Bottomline is I'm proud with the way these guys fought given those circumstances," he said.
FEU may have suffered back-to-back losses, but for now, Orizu's welfare is Racela's prime concern.
"Nandoon pa siya sa hospital to get x-ray. Hopefully, negative yun," he said of his starting center, who had to be stretchered out of the venue. "There's no swelling. We're hoping it's just muscle (strain). Di ko alam if he tore something. Di niya malagyan ng weight. We're hoping he's ok."
"This just one game and there are things more important than basketball. We're for the health of Prince."