FEU head coach Nash Racela. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, a traditional UAAP powerhouse, will feature a new look in the upcoming UAAP season as for the first time in four years, they will not have the explosive backcourt tandem of RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo.
Garcia played out his last year of eligibility in Season 76, while Romeo could have played one more year but opted not to do so. Both guards are now playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
With their two star players gone, FEU head coach Nash Racela said there will be some changes for the Tamaraws as they now need a "balanced attack" in order to compete.
"Mahirap punuan 'yung 35 points na mawawala," Racela told reporters, referring to the combined scoring output of Garcia and Romeo. "So sabi namin, it has to be a collective effort."
"That's why, starting as early as December of last year, sobra na ang emphasis namin on ball movement," added the head coach.
The Tamaraws will still run the same system, and Racela said fans will still see the same run-and-gun FEU that they've seen in seasons past.
"Maybe the only difference ngayon is, before 'yung touches namin were really concentrated on a couple of players, but this year, we're trying to involve everybody," he added.
Aside from an emphasis on ball movement, Racela also wants the Tamaraws to improve on the defensive end. But he admitted that they have been "very inconsistent" so far.
"There are games na parang, sobrang galing namin dumepensa, and the next game parang bumababa," he said. "We're just looking at consistency in terms of defense."
FEU will kick off their UAAP Season 77 campaign with a tough assignment, as they play defending champions De La Salle University on opening day on Saturday.