THREE days removed from an exhausting double-overtime win, Far Eastern University obviously didn’t have enough gas against five-time defending champion Ateneo in a 92-73 loss Wednesday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
FEU coach Nash Racela believes the Tamaraws haven’t recovered yet from their thrilling 98-94 win over University of the East Red Warriors Sunday in a game that extended to two extra periods and took 58 minutes to complete.
“We weren’t able to match the energy level of Ateneo,” said Racela following the team’s 19-point blowout loss. “We were thinking that it might be the effect of the double overtime win last Sunday.”
The Tamaraws were so listless that at one point, they even trailed the Eagles by as many as 33 points.
“Feeling ko, hindi pa nakaka-recover ‘yung mga players,” Racela added.
The FEU mentor bared a few players showed signs of fatigue that Gryann Mendoza, one of the heroes for the Tamaraws in the dramatic win over the Warriors, already suffered cramps as early as the first period in their game against Ateneo.
“I told the players at halftime to be honest with me. I told them, ‘If you are hurting or tired, sabi ko I won’t take it against you.’ I rather play other people. Hindi naman sila umamin pero it was very obvious.”
Racela said the mood inside the locker room remains positive notwithstanding the Tamaraws' third loss in their last four outings.
“That is why in the postgame (talk), it was still positive because everybody goes through it. Ang importante is how we can recover,” said the Tamaraws coach.