UAAP 81: FEU's La Salle focus shifts to Melecio with Mbala gone

Paul Lintag on Sep 09, 2018 02:36 PM
FEU's La Salle focus shifts to Melecio with Mbala gone
With a towering Cameroonian out of the way, the Tamaraws have shifted their focus to La Salle's deadly guard rotation, zeroing on guys like Aljun Melecio.

In the two seasons that two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala was with La Salle, the FEU Tamaraws didn't beat the Green Archers.

Not even once.

But the moment Big Ben is out, the Tams needed only one official UAAP game to beat their nemesis.

Far Eastern Univeristy got off to a strong start in UAAP Season 81, forcing La Salle to submission via a 68-61 decision.

It's the first win for the Tamaraws over La Salle in the elimination round since then head coach Nash Racela decided to sit out his starters early and the FEU bench beat the Green Archers in Season 78.

FEU won the title that season.

With a towering Cameroonian out of the way, the Tamaraws have shifted their focus to La Salle's deadly guard rotation, zeroing on guys like Aljun Melecio.

It worked.

"Malaking bagay [Mbala's departure] because now we can just really focus... di naman just but we can focus on Melecio," head coach Olsen Racela said.

"Alam ko marami rin silang magaling pero mahirap mag-focus sa labas tapos merong kang focus rin against an inside player like Mbala. Now kahit papaano, yung focus namin kay Melecio mas madiin," he added.

The Tams limited Melecio to only 11 points in this opening game on just 5-of-15 shooting.

For good measure, FEU also clamped down on Andrei Caracut, forcing him to shoot 4-of-10 from the field for only nine points.

"We pride ourselves on team defense eh," Racela said.

"La Salle naman maraming weapons eh. I think my team, my players really came to play defense today," he added.

 

 


---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

Latest News