UAAP 82: FEU relishes underdog role as Final 4 approaches

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2019 07:06 PM

UAAP 82: FEU relishes underdog role as Final 4 approaches 1
Depending on the result of the Ateneo-UP game Wednesday, No. 3 seed FEU will either play No. 2 UP in a traditional semis pairing or No. 4 UST in a stepladder format. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports.

MANILA, Philippines—The longest active final 4 streak in the UAAP continued last Sunday, when Far Eastern University clinched a semifinals spot for the seventh season in a row.

A comfortable 82-58 victory over University of the East gave the Tamaraws an 8-6 record at the end of the elimination round, securing them the third seed. 

The Tamaraws knew that they surprised plenty of pundits with their performance, as few had predicted them to make it this far

"I think the last couple of years, we've been under the radar, lalo na this year with the amount of rookies we have," said FEU team captain Kenneth Tuffin.

"We have a lot of good seniors, but compared to the superstar teams, FEU is not always talked about," he added. "But I mean, we don't mind that."

Tuffin is well aware that the Tamaraws are massive underdogs in the final 4. Depending on the result of the Ateneo-UP game on Wednesday, FEU will either play the twice-to-beat Fighting Maroons in a traditional semifinals, or take on No. 4 University of Santo Tomas in a knockout stepladder match.

But the Tamaraws have already pulled off plenty of shockers in Season 82, with important wins over UP, UST, and La Salle in the second round of the tournament. Tuffin is confident that FEU can continue to keep upsetting opponents, as long as the team sticks to what has worked.

"We talk about the story of David and Goliath. We have a chapel time in the bus, so we always talk about David and Goliath, and how we should all play as Davids," Tuffin explained.

"So, have that chip on our shoulder, no matter who we go up against, if it's Ateneo, UP, UST, even the lower teams. Still play with that chip on our shoulder, always motivated."

Regardless of what format the final 4 takes, the Tamaraws will immediately be in a must-win situation. They are optimistic of their chances, though, after a strong second round that saw them go 5-2, and win their last three games.

"Nothing really changed," said Tuffin. "We just continued to believe in ourselves, and it's just kind of, now everyone's taking notice of us." 

"We don't mind that. It's nice to have a bit of attention, but we're just gonna stay working, and whoever we play in the next coming days or weeks, we'll be prepared for that," he added.

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