FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela rued the flat start his team had in its playoff game against De La Salle for the right at the no. 2 seed in the UAAP men’s Final Four.
“I think, siguro next time, we will find a way to start better,” said the soft-spoken mentor.
Racela refused to blame the long break as the reason for the Tamaraws’ 69-74 defeat to the Green Archers that moved them one loss away from outright elimination in Season 76 which saw the Morayta-based squad pulled off a strong seven-game sweep of the first round elimination.
Racela said the Tamaraws just couldn’t respond to the Archers hitting eight triples in the first half that led to the victory.
“We were taking the shots available, we weren’t hitting it. That was the story in the first half. They were hitting theirs,” said Racela.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, do we need to lessen their three-point attempts or we have to start making them,” he added.
The Tamaraws meet the Green Archers again on Wednesday in their official Final Four match.
At the same time, Racela was noticeably disappointed about the officiating during the game.
When asked about it, he said, “Actually sinasabi ko sa team that we just have to play above it (officiating).”
“We are not making excuses but from our end, we are hoping that they would allow our players to defend. It’s hard to play La Salle and the only way to beat them is to defend them. Now if the refs don’t allow them to defend, I don’t think we won’t be able to win a ballgame,” said Racela.