UAAP 81 Football: FEU enjoying comeback season after forgettable Season 80 campaign
Santino Honasan on Mar 07, 2019 04:25 PM
FEU head coach Bobae Park used last season's struggles to adjust for this season
At the end of the UAAP Season 80 Men's Football tournament, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws were in shambles as they were looking at a seventh-place finish, their worst in a long, long time.
After 14 matches played, the Tamaraws - who were coming off a Finals appearance and two championships in the four seasons prior - finished with 13 points off three wins, four draws, and seven losses.
Fast-forward to Season 81, the Tamaraws are currently sitting at the top half of the standings with eight points off two wins and two draws, in just four matches played.
While it's too early to predict that FEU will return to the semifinals, the Tamaraws are likely to finish with a better standing than their forgettable campaign from last season, and FEU head coach Bobae Park says that the players' academic schedules were a big factor in their dismal performance.
"Actually, last year, we couldn’t train properly because the problem was the players’ class schedules, that’s why we just trained for maybe how many weeks, just a few weeks that we were able to train together before the start of the UAAP, and then our members were only I think 15 players, 16 players?"
Park added that the rough season was a learning experience for him, and he was able to make the necessary adjustments for this season.
"This was, I realized, a good experience for me, that’s why I knew how to prepare for the next year."
While the Tamaraws are once again just 16-deep for this season, Park states that the important thing is that his players can be slotted in multiple positions.
"That’s why our players now, even if we’re only 16, all the players can play all the positions, they practice multiple positions. Even if we are just a few players, more important is how we organize the play even if we just have a few players."
"This one is working, that’s why I’m happy," he continued.
With all teams currently looking like contenders, the race for the Final Four is now wide open, and Coach Bobae hopes that the Tamaraws can continue their resurgence and maintain their momentum to make a return to the postseason.
"I hope they don’t lose their concentration, and then important, since we play Thursday games and Sunday games, after two or three days, we get rest and then we have a game. It’s important how we rest well and recover well."
"It depends on them, if we can get the results, win or lose. The focus is to recover well and then fix the last game, so we will still keep practicing and try to maintain our game condition." he concluded.