Baldwin, Gilas assistant Racela find selves on opposing sides as FEU, Ateneo collide
FEU coaches Johnny Abarientos, Nash Racela and Jojo Lastimosa try to steer the Tamaraws above .500. Jaime Campos

COACH Nash Racela is glad Far Eastern University avoided falling into a deep hole early and now looks to get a win streak going when the Tamaraws take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Wednesday in UAAP Season 79 at MOA Arena.

FEU bowed to La Salle in the opener but evened its record with victory over Adamson.

Now, the Tamaraws look to book their second straight victory as they face a Blue Eagles team coming off a loss.

Tipoff is at 2 p.m.

“Mahirap ’yung pagdadaanan namin this year but it’s a good feeling that we were able to get our first win. It’s going to be hard to start the season 0-2. We have to continue to work hard and hopefully, it will benefit against future competition,” said Racela.

[See FEU Tamaraws burst Adamson bubble, win first game of UAAP season]

Ateneo started the season with a win over University of Sto. Tomas but was beaten by National University in its last outing over the weekend.

The loss is part of the process for the young squad, according to consultant Tab Baldwin.

“I’ve been saying it from the beginning. This is going to be a roller coaster ride this year,” said Baldwin.

[See Rev Diputado, Matt Salem shine as NU Bulldogs beat Ateneo Blue Eagles]

Mike Nieto topped the Blue Eagles in scoring against the Bulldogs by making 14 points, but noticeably missing were Aaron Black and Thirdy Ravena.

After the two totaled 40 points in Ateneo’s win over University of Santo Tomas, Black and Ravena only had four and two markers, respectively.

With Black and Ravena struggling on offense, the Blue Eagles made only nine points in the third quarter against the Bulldogs.

Baldwin is confident the shots will eventually fall for the Blue Eagles, and hopefully, it will come against the Tamaraws.

“We have to run our offense to creat good shots. Whether we make it or not, that’s another story. Against NU, we generated good shots, we just didn’t make it. We have to keep doing that. Eventually, more and more shots will fall as these kids get to be comfortable with the league and what we are doing,” Baldwin said.

FEU hopes Axel Inigo, Russel Escoto, and Raymar Jose continue to deliver after combining for 37 points in a balanced scoring attack against the Falcons.

As an interesting subplot, Racela, a member of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff, faces Baldwin, the head coach of the national squad.


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