Reluctant Raymar proves to be just the leader FEU needed

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 01, 2016 04:54 PM
Reluctant Raymar proves to be just the leader FEU needed
LEADING BY EXAMPLE. Always a man of a few words, Raymar Jose was the face of FEU's self-proclaimed overachieving in the season.

With all of Mac Belo, Russel Escoto, RR Pogoy, and Mike Tolomia gone, not that many gave Far Eastern University a fighting chance.

As it turns out, fight was all the Tamaraws did in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

And although already dethroned last Wednesday, FEU can rest assured that they left it all on the court.

Of course, no one did more fighting than team captain Raymar Jose. In his last two games for the green and gold, he averaged 16 points and 17.5 rebounds – the first one ending up as a one-point win and the second one ending up as a one-point loss.

That wasn’t always the case, however, especially in the earlygoing.                 

Softspoken and always the workhorse behind stars like Belo and Tolomia, the 24-year-old was taken aback by his new responsibility. “At the start, nagulat si Raymar. In-appoint siya ng teammates niya na siya raw ang captain namin,” head coach Nash Racela said.

He then continued, “Noong una, I think he was having a hard time adjusting, but if you base it on how we ended the season, magaling na leader pala si Raymar. I hope he brings it over (wherever he goes).”

Indeed, it was on Jose’s broad shoulders that FEU was able to extend their reign for just a little longer by forcing a do-or-die matchup. Scoring seven of his 20 points and seizing 11 of his 23 rebounds all in the final frame, he willed his team into a come-from-behind win.

Always modest, however, the now-graduated Tamaraw said his leadership still falls far from how former teammate Belo used to do it. “Para sa akin, iba yung Mac Belo kasi siya yung best talaga na leader. Siyempre idol ko yun kaya marami akong natutunan sa kanya,” he said.

What he’s willing to admit is that he can only get even better from here. “Sana makuha ako sa next na mga liga kasi ‘di pa naman nagtatapos ang basketball dito. Siguro, dun ko mai-improve pa ang sarili ko,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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