UAAP: Grateful Ojuola sees bright future for FEU Tamaraws

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 05 2022 08:04 PM

FEU's Emmanuel Ojuola drives against Ateneo's Matthew Daves in their UAAP Season 84 Final 4 game. UAAP Media.
FEU's Emmanuel Ojuola drives against Ateneo's Matthew Daves in their UAAP Season 84 Final 4 game. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- Emmanuel Ojuola's first and only season with Far Eastern University (FEU) didn't end the way he wanted, as they were dismissed by Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 84 Final 4.

Ojuola did his part, tallying his customary double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes. But they were thoroughly outplayed in the second quarter by the Blue Eagles, and were unable to dig their way out of a 22-point hole.

Ateneo's 85-72 win ended FEU's season, and with it, Ojuola's brief UAAP career. The Nigerian had nothing but words of gratitude afterwards, as he relished the opportunity to play in the collegiate league.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity given to me by the FEU community. It's been a great learning experience," he said. "This is the biggest stage I've played in, and I think I've learned a lot throughout this season."

"Hopefully in the coming years, I'll use this also in my future endeavors," he added.

Ojuola is one of the handful of FEU seniors graduating at the end of Season 84, and he believes that he is leaving the team in good hands. While Ojuola was their top scoring option in the post this season, the Tamaraws also got solid campaigns from young guards RJ Abarrientos and LJay Gonzales, and the likes of Xyrus Torres, Patrick Sleat, and Bryan Sajonia showed great improvement.

"[This is] not the way we wanted the season to end. But, looking forward, most of our guys are young, they are all rookies," Ojuola pointed out.

"The future is good 'cause we have many rookies, and we made it to the Final 4. What more next season when everybody has more confidence, you know?" he said.

"I'm really excited for what the future lies for the team."

As for Ojuola, FEU head coach Olsen Racela has no doubt that his future is bright as well, be it on the basketball court or off it.

According to the head coach, Ojuola had already finished his Master's degree in FEU before he even made his debut in the UAAP.

"Siguro sa history ng UAAP, si Emman lang siguro ang only student-athlete who has graduated from his master's program before even playing his first UAAP game," he said. "Ganyan klaseng student-athlete 'yan."