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UAAP: FEU stays unbeaten, beats NU

Thursday, 18 July 2013 24 Comments


“It’S how you finish.”

Those were Nash Racela’s exact words when asked by reporters how he described Far Eastern University’s 87-83 win over National University on Wednesday in Season 76 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Behind the clutch plays of guard Terrence Romeo and the support of veteran bench players Carl Cruz and Gryann Mendoza, the FEU Tamaraws overcame NU’s fourth quarter rally and stayed unbeaten in five games.

Romeo, who delivered 24 points on 6-of-10 shooting beyond the arc, made four important baskets in the last 30 seconds to maintain the win. He sealed the victory with two free throws for the Tamaraws with only four seconds left in the game.

NU’s Robin Roño fired a triple to slice FEU’s lead to 83-85 with only 8.8 ticks left in the game before Romeo’s next two free throws.

“We should learn from this game and can’t be satisfied,” said Racela. “Defenses will really focus on the three guys, so that will open up a lot of opportunities for the other guys. So we have to be more aware of that opportunity.”

FEU drained 15 three-pointers, the last of which was by Cruz with 5:32 remaining, and that gave them an insurmountable 79-59 edge midway through the final period. After the FEU Tamaraws went scoreless for about five minutes, Romeo came to the rescue.

Emmanuel Mbe dominated the fourth quarter by scoring 15 of his 27 points in addition to his 16 rebounds, while two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks finished with 26 points and eight boards.

NU dropped to a 3-2 win-loss card.

Cruz and Mendoza contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively, for FEU. RR Garcia had nine. (EF/
FEU 87 – Romeo 24, Cruz 13, Mendoza 10, Garcia 9, Tolomia 7, Belo 6, Pogoy 5, Sentcheu 4, Iñigo 3, Jose 2, Hargrove 2, Dennison 2.
NU 83 – Mbe 27, Parks 26, Roño 9, Khobuntin 8, Javillionar 7, Villamor 2, Rosario 2, Alolino 2, Porter 0, De Guzman 0, Alejandro 0.
QS: 28-16; 45-36; 68-48; 87-83.


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Started playing basketball the same way many other Pinoys do -- on the street with his relatives, friends, and neighbors. After accepting the fact I will never be Philippine Basketball's savior against the might of China and Korea on the court, I turned to writing off the court. I'm not exactly the most objective armchair analyst on this side of the basketball universe, but it's not for want of trying. I write about other basketball leagues on If you also have any queries about the English language, blame it on the day job. Follow me on Twitter: hoopnut


  • C says:

    D p rin masyado na illbas ang buong potential ng feu MBT kc d p rin nila matkpan ung kahinaan nila:(( Pero atleast nag improve cla this year, may team work cla pero minsan bumabakaw din dapt un ang alisin nila at wag sna cla mawaln ng concentration ng 3rd and 4rth quarter dun lagi cla n ccra ehh! o minsn nmn ehh p easy easy n lng cla pag lamng cla:(( Congrats and We Believe FEU MBT I hope mag tuloy tuloy n yan:))

  • bigf9779 says:

    Congratulations FEU Tamaraws!

    Lot’s of Homework for Coach Eric, for me it was the most “sluggish” start of the bulldogs this season. Sayang ang effort ni Sean and Bobby Ray combining 53pts for NU, another bad game for Gelo Alolino, sana naman bigyan ng playing time ni coach si Cedric Labing-isa, mas ok for me na back court silang dalawa ni Robin Roño. Grabe turn-overs ni Gelo, nasa loob ng court, dadrive hindi alam ang agagwin, ipapasa sa kawalan ang bola. Sana naman makita namin yung tunay na killer instinct ng NU. bawi na lang next game vs Adamson falcons.

    • Spectator says:

      Gelo was more of a shooting guard during his HS days with Perpetual. He was one of the leading scorers in the NCAA Junior Division. I think he should be used as a combo guard and let the other natural point guards like Cedric have some playing time. It would be a big embarrassment for Coach Eric if BRP graduates without a championship with NU. All their investment will be wasted if that happens.

  • Mahirap bantayan ang tatlong sumang nila: RR, Romeo at Tolomia! Maestro nito si Abarientos.

    and then there are 3 kangaroos: Pogoy, Belo and Cruz who are fast and have high vertical leap.

    Meron din sila malaki: Sentcheu and Hardgrove!

  • king archer says:

    with the way things are going so far in season 76, it looks like FEU is really the team to beat this season. They have been overlooked by other uaap schools and quietly coach nash was able to instill new system to the tamaraws. congrats to FEU for staying undefeated and to NU for a great comeback! still hoping for DLSU in the finals!


  • Anti-heat says:

    The biggest difference this year for FEU is the coach. Nash Racela has control of this team while Bert Flores clearly did not.

    • king archer says:

      well actually in my opinion, coach nash is not the biggest diffeence but rather the “only” difference for the tamaraws this season. I agree and I think most if not all will agree that bert flores has never had control of his team and that’s exactly the reason why FEU didn’t make it to F4 last yr. FEU could have won at least 1 championship in their 2 finals appearance if coach nash was already there.

    • Spectator says:

      You have a good point but it’s too early to judge. FEU also had a good start last year and the teams were tightly bundled and if RR’s controversial “last second shot” was counted FEU would have placed second in the F4 and would have enjoyed a twice to beat advantage. Also it is unfair to Coach Bert, he has already led FEU to a championship and led them to the finals in 2011 and had a good chance last year until their fortunes changed down the stretch. It is also worth mentioning that we can not blame Coach Bert for FEU defeat in 2011 and last year because no other team had won a title in the last four years because of a very dominant Ateneo line up.

      • Kiefe says:

        As long as ADMU will not enter F4. FEU can win the crown. Why? Because montinola is an atenean and feu will always give in to the blue eagles everytime they face in the finals or final four. This is the reason why coach Koy Banal left in 2004. Because Montinola is manipulating every Feu game. Remember the year when cawaling, barocca, baracael, ramos, cervantes were with the tams? They could have easily won 1 or 2 championships if not for the game fixing issues and the way Montinola hinders them. Sad but true, 2-3 of the championships of ADMU were because of manipulation, and who else can manipulate? Of course the rich alumni of ADMU; coincidentally one of them happens to be a team manager of the primary opposing contender.

        • joescoundrel says:

          Thank you. Thank you. Your imagination runs wild.

        • king archer says:

          koy banal did not resigned. It’s the management’s decision to get a new coach instead of re-newing his contract. the decision came after koy banal and the tamaraws failed to win the championship against dlsu. note: (dlsu surrendered the crown to feu in that season)

      • king archer says:

        for the last 5 yrs, ateneo really had a very deep line up and on top of that, they had the best coach in the league (norman black). but things are a bit different now…new coach, new system and they also lost some of their key players like salva, slaughter, etc…i guess the blues are in the process of adjustment right now that’s why they’re having some difficulties in getting W’s. as for the tamaraws, one thing that they do have now that they don’t in the last few yrs is discipline. credit that to their new coach nash racela for being able to manage and discipline his players on and off the court. another thing is that they found a leader in romeo (whom I used to hate so much for being bwakaw) but now look at this boy…man this guy can really play good basketball…and the most exciting thing for them is the fact that coach nash was able to make the romeo-garcia bromance play good music together! man this duo is probably the best backcourt tandem in the league right now plus they also have tolomia, cruz, pogoy, belo and sentchu who used to be a bench player but now transformed to a defensive player. with this, if they can continue to do what they’re doing right now, I must say that they are a real contender for the crown this season. I just wonder what could have happened if ateneo recruited coach nash after the departure of coach black?

        • Spectator says:

          The players you mentioned were not recruited by Nash. He is lucky his predecessors handed him a good team. On handling Ateneo, well he failed when he handled a not so loaded San Beda squad. With the graduation of Slaughter, Salva, Monfort , Chua, and Long, all the other team’s chances of winning a title became much bigger. We call Coach Norman the best coach, but he too failed several times before they became champions. In the NBA the best coach award is usually given to the team with the best improvement or the team with less known players but accomplishes more than what was expected of them. I will call coach Norman the greatest coach if he handles UP and make them champion next year.

          • king archer says:

            yeah those players that I’ve mentioned are not recruited by nash. some of them was recruited by bert flores and the likes of rr garcia by glenn capacio if i’m not mistaken? but the thing is, having good recruits means nothing if you can’t develop and enhance their talents. Like for example, romeo used to be the most bwakaw player in town during his first 3 yrs under coach glenn and bert flores. In that span of time, they should have been able to discipline him and make him the player like what he is right now. On the other hand, coach nash is not the one who recruited romeo but in just 8 months time (which is a very short period of time compared to 3yrs of coach glenn and bert) he was able to tranform romeo and made him a better player (which I think can be proved by his stats). Who would have thought that this guy can play a good team basketball? Another big achievement of nash is the fact that he was able to make the romeo-garcia bromance play sweet music together which I think is almost imposible (and I guess everybody does and I even saw a write up of enzo before the start of the season claiming that romeo-garcia bromance will never work). But in just 8months of coach nash being at the helm of the tamaraws, I think they just proved everybody wrong (and that actually includes me, myself and I) while bert and glenn failed to do that for 3 effin yrs. As for Norman Black, he is a human coach brother and What UP needs is a miracle (no offense meant). Coach Norman was able to make the blues 5 time champs because they have one thing that UP don’t and that is the support of the community and the alumni. Without having the support of their community, UP will be almost impossible to make it to the top even if they get erik spoelstra as their coach. You said it yourself that Coach Norman has failed a couple of times before he was able to tranform the blues to a 5 time champs right? In my opinion, that’s exactly what makes him a great coach! He looked at their mistakes, learned from it, made the adjustments and he was even able to turn bench players like rabeh into MVP caliber. So yeah for me he is still the greatest coach in the UAAP at least for the last 5 yrs…

          • Spectator says:

            Inheriting an almost complete and strong line up like FEU is different from inheriting a team which has just lost key players like Slaughter plus your number 1 player Ravena, injured at the start of the tournament. Lets reverse the question – what if Coach Bo inherited the complete line up which Black coached and Nash inherited a team without Romeo and RR?

  • Tweetams says:

    Tama kyo coach ang kahuna an ng tams

  • Buzz says:

    Agree with you both AH & KA. Buti na lang talaga hindi na si big bert ang coach. Walang direction ang TAMS but they still managed to be in the finals. Talent na lang ang nagdala. Try kaya ng ATENEO kunin si mang bert para malaman natin kung yung talent nila can carry them to the finals. Experiment lang.

  • hope&virtues says:

    The difference is Nash Racela; the final cause was last year’s poor finish; the primary cause was the Bringas brothers.

    But, its much too early to say who is doing well and not! And the way fortune has shifted in games and in this season, nobody knows what will happen next!

    What will happen after the FIBA?

  • Spectator says:

    FEU also had a good start last year. Their fortune changed when RR’s shot was not counted. Had the shot been counted they would have qualified for the F4.

  • hope&virtue says:

    The Blue Eagles ended the first round with a 7-0 some time in the past, and were humiliated in the second round.

    Its too early in the season to make major conclusions.

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