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Defense propels FEU to crucial win over Adamson, says Racela
by Niel Victor Masoy, October 23, 2019 5:56pm
Far Eastern University (FEU) head coach Olsen Racela said the Tamaraws’ defense, especially in the second half, was simply the key to their win over the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
“Ang Adamson is a strong team, a well-coached team. I told the players that babalik at babalik ang Adamson. I told them focus on the defensive end. And I think yung defense namin carried us in the second half,” remarked Racela.
Down by as big as 14 points, the Soaring Falcons came back, indeed. Adamson unleashed a furious fourth quarter rally and got within two points, 62-60, with 1:45 left in regulation.
However, the Tamaraws, again, relied on their defense - stopping Adamson’s attacks, including Jerom Lastimosa’s potential game-tying trey late in the ball game, to cruise to their seventh win in 13 outings (7-6).
“We struggled on the offensive end but we were making stops. So ang tagal nila bago nahabol yung lamang namin eh. So again, buti na lang we had that lead at the half at na-protektahan naman namin hanggang dulo.”
Overall, FEU did a great job defending Adamson, limiting the latter to just 24-of-83 shooting from the field or just 28.9 percent.
Meanwhile, with the triumph, FEU bolstered its Final Four chances with still one game left in its elimination campaign.
That being said, Racela hopes the Tamaraws would be locked in against the already eliminated University of the East (UE) Red Warriors (3-9) on Sunday, October 27, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
A win over UE could very well assure FEU at least a playoff for the last Semifinals spot.
“We just have to prepare hard against UE dahil ang UE really has nothing to lose. So I expect them to play well on Sunday and kailangang ma-match namin yun and really focus on defending Suerte, Diakhite, and all the others,” said Racela.
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