FEU-Diliman feels it proved it belonged alongside San Beda, Malayan

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 16, 2017 05:18 PM
FEU feels it proved it belonged alongside San Beda, Malayan
GREATER AND GREATER HEIGHTS. FEU-Diliman proved itself capable of hanging with traditional powerhouses San Beda and Malayan.

Heading into the 2017 National basketball Training Center League National Finals, Far Eastern University-Diliman had one goal.

“Gusto naming patunayan na ‘di lang kami pang-UAAP. Gusto naming patunayan na kaya rin naming makipag-compete sa ibang liga,” team captain Kenji Roman.

Fellow team leader Jack Gloria added, “Gusto naming ipakita na nandito kami para gawin yung best namin na mag-champion din. Papatunayan namin na ‘di lang kami pang-UAAP, pang-NBTC din kami.”

The newly-minted champions of the UAAP were off to a strong start in the tournament with back-to-back wins against foreign teams New Zealand and Canada.

Once they got to their matchups with traditional powerhouses Malayan High School of Science and San Beda High School, however, the Baby Tamaraws fell short.

The Red Robins put a stop to their streak to end the elimination round before the Red Cubs kicked them out of tournament in the semifinals.

Even with consecutive defeats to the traditional powerhouses, however, Gloria said the boys from Diliman relished the opportunity they got. “Masaya pa rin kami kasi maganda yung experience na nakasama kami sa best of the best,” he said.

Coach Allan Albano could only agree. As he put it, “Ako, masaya ako sa pinakita nila kasi kitang-kita ko naman sa mga players na gusto nilang manalo. Kinapos lang talaga kami.”

Still, there is much to learn for a squad that had just recently reclaimed its place among the elite. “Siguro, kailangan lang i-guide yung players kasi para kaming diesel na malalamangan tapos sa dulo, saka lang hahabulin. It’s my part na nagkulang din,” he said.

He then continued, “Akala kasi nila na porke nag-champion na sila e lahat kaya na nilang talunin. So it’s a lesson learned naman.”

In the end, the already-graduating Gloria challenged the remaining Baby Tamaraws to do better next time. “Babawi na lang yung maiiwan pa para sa amin,” he expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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