FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela’s worst fears came true on Wednesday when the Tamaraws were shocked by the University of Santo Tomas Tigers just days after pulling off an emphatic win over Ateneo on opening weekend of the UAAP Season 78.
The Tamaraws were outplayed by the Tigers, 71-72, as they were promptly send crashing back to earth following their huge 88-64 rout of the Blue Eagles in their debut game.
For head coach Nash Racela, the incident was reminiscent of the team’s campaign last year when they also lost to the Tigers in their second game after opening the season with a victory over La Salle.
“Right after winning against Ateneo, we went back to last year. Opening game, we beat La Salle big time, then the next game, we played UST and we lost.
“As a coach, I wasn’t really surprised na ganun nilaro namin. Umpisa pa lang, masama na,” Racela said.
The FEU coach took the blame for his players’ lack of effort.
“That’s my fault as a coach. That’s how we practiced the last few games. Not really nice and I think we carried it into the game. Not to take anything away from UST. We were forced to things that we weren’t comfortable with,” said Racela.
In the end, Racela was left to rue the 21 turnovers of the Tamaraws and their failure to play defense against the Tigers.
“The realization is, we can’t win if we don’t defend and we turn the ball over,” he said.
Racela hopes the loss against UST will serve as a learning experience for the Tamaraws before they face La Salle this Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Like FEU, the Green Archers are also coming off a stunning defeat at the hands of surprising University of the Philippines.
“It’s easy to say na mas mabuti na matalo na ngayon. That’s a common line. Of course, you don’t want to lose. But at the same time, it’s a good wake-up call for us,” said Racela.