With a Racela still at the helm, FEU ready to charge anew

Paul Lintag on Sep 07, 2017 09:02 PM
With a Racela still at the helm, FEU ready to charge anew
GET THE HORNS. A Racela remains at the head of FEU's charge.

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 10-6, defeated in Final Four by Ateneo

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Ron Dennison, Axel Inigo, Prince Orizu

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Hubert Cani, Jasper Parker, RJ Ramirez, Arvin Tolentino

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Monbert Arong, Ken Holmqvist, Raymar Jose

Even if Far Eastern University changed its main tactitian for the upcoming UAAP Season 80, expect pretty much the same gritty Tamaraws to take the court.

That's because FEU's new head coach is still a Racela - and coach Olsen is not exactly the one to do a complete 180-degree turnaround with the dominant program his brother Nash had already established in Morayta.

"We're going to continue the system that coach Nash started. Dun na rin sanay ang mga bata eh. But of course I'm going to put in a few ideas of my own," Olsen told ABS-CBN Sports.

At one time a legendary point guard for the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA, Olsen will now have his hands full as first time head coach in the UAAP.

Olsen took over for his older brother late last year after the latter moved on to coach the TNT KaTropa in the pro ranks.

And with that kind of time, the FEU faithful should not worry about seeing the Tamaraws struggle under a new mentor.

Racela had them ready with time to spare for Season 80. "We've been practicing for seven to eight months now so yung adjustment period natapos na. It's all about execution pagdating ng UAAP," he said.

If there's one thing different for FEU this year, it's going to be the fact that the Tamaraws have no clear alpha on the team. What they do have is a set of solid veterans who know how to get the job done.

With that being said, FEU is just as dangerous as they have recently been.

Maybe even more.

"It's gonna be the last year of Jojo Trinidad and Ron Dennison. And then from the veterans, when you talk about leadership, si Richard Escoto and Ken Tuffin. Yun yung mga aasahan natin kasi mga veterans sila eh, matagal na sila naglalaro not just sa UAAP [Senior's], but for FEU. Yung iba sa kanila since high school pa," Racela said.

"But I have five new guys galing sa Team B so marami ring bago samin," he added.

Even if FEU is the host for the monumental 80th season of the UAAP, coach Olsen is trying to manage the expectations for the 20-time champion Tamaraws.

The thought of another title is on their minds for sure, but the Tamaraws first need to qualify for the postseason.

That's what they'll try to do starting with a highly-anticipated rematch against defending champion De La Salle University to kick off their campaign.

"Realistically, ang goal namin is Final Four muna and then we'll see after that," coach Olsen said.

"There's always pressure eh, in any game and in any season. But ako ang expectation ko lang dito sa mga players, like I always say, is for them to give it their best. Play hard and the result will follow," he added.

FEU's biggest change in the offseason was to replace its head coach.

Still, a Racela will handle the winnigest team in the UAAP so if you're expecting the Tamaraws to crumble under the pressure of being hosts and having a new mentor, do yourself a favor and stop doing that.

The Tamaraws are still legitimate contenders and they are ready to charge.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.

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