UAAP: From the bench, Prince Orizu proves to be FEU's game-changer

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 02, 2018 05:41 PM
UAAP: From the bench, Orizu proves to be FEU's game-changer
All of Angelo Kouame, Bright Akhuetie, Justine Baltazar, Santi Santillan, and Brandon Bates did damage against FEU without Prince Orizu patrolling the paint

Far Eastern University ended the first round of eliminations in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament in first place.

Since then, however, they have dropped four games in a row and have dropped to the bottom half of the standings.

The common theme in those losses? Prince Orizu has been injured in the last three games.

“Of course, it’s frustrating. Actually, I was shedding (tears) a little bit earlier because I know if I’m out there, those guys can’t those easy buckets,” he said after the Tamaraws fell to De La Salle University last Sunday. “Those easy buckets, they’re gonna bleed for it.”

Orizu got injured against Ateneo de Manila University and witnessed Angelo Kouame rampage to a 33-point, 27-rebound career game.

He sat out against the University of the Philippines and then saw Bright Akhuetie go on a 20-point, 11-rebound, seven-assist tear.

Against the Green Archers, he was suited up, but was not put in. As such, he had front row seats to watching Justine Baltazar get 15 points and six rebounds, Santi Santillan get 12 boards and 14 markers, and Brandon Bates get seven points and 10 rebounds.

Without a doubt, the Nigerian powerhouse left a big, big void FEU has not been able to fill.

Even more frustrating for him is the fact that this is the first time in quite a while that he was forced to sit out. As he put it, “Nobody was expecting I’m gonna get injured. I’ve not been injured for over four years. It’s really frustrating and I just have to get back and do better when I get back.”

In that light, Orizu gladly reported that he has been recovering well from the high sprain on his left ankle. As he put it, “I’m recovering well and I could jog now, but I can’t really run fast because there’s still pain in the ankle. I’m just hoping I get okay before next game.”

He then continued, “I’m doing everything I can to come back because I don’t like seeing my team like that. If I was there, it’s gonna be a lot different than what is going on in the team.”

FEU’s sidelined center will be a game time decision when they take on University of the East on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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