Brave FEU not backing down from more heralded UAAP 82 rivals

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 31, 2019 06:47 PM
Brave FEU not backing down from more heralded UAAP 82 rivals
Without a doubt, FEU will yet again compete with the bet of them in UAAP Season 82

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 8-6, fourth-seed, lost to top-seed Ateneo in Final Four

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Hubert Cani, Wendell Comboy, Barkley Ebona, L-Jay Gonzales, Alec Stockton, Ken Tuffin

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Travis Mantua, Emman Ojuola/Patrick Tchuente, Xyrus Torres

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Richard Escoto, Axel Inigo, Jasper Parker, Prince Orizu, Arvin Tolentino

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM FEU?

Yet again, FEU is not being talked about that much heading into UAAP Season 82.

And yet again, the Tamaraws are determined to blow just about everybody’s expectations of them out of the water.

Even though top gun Arvin Tolentino and stalwarts Richard Escoto and Prince Orizu are no longer here, Morayta remains in good hands with Hubert Cani, Barkley Ebona, and Ken Tuffin just sliding into the leadership role.

L-Jay Gonzales, the green and gold’s proud product from the grassroots, is also poised for a breakout second season now as the primary playmaker.

That, coupled with continued improvement from Wendell Comboy and Alec Stockton as well as immediate impact from rookies Travis Mantua and Xyrus Torres assure FEU that its war machine remains a force to reckon with.

WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM FEU?

The biggest question for FEU is how ready Emman Ojuola or Patrick Tchuente are to replace Cameroonian powerhouse Prince Orizu.

Tchuente, at 6-foot-10, is two inches taller than Orizu, but the former still lags far behind the latter in terms of making his presence felt down low. Ojuola, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-7 mound of muscle who will nonetheless still have to adjust to the big stage and bright lights of the UAAP.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: UAAP rules state that only one foreign student-athlete will be allowed on a team’s final lineup. As of press time, FEU is yet to decide between Tchuente or Ojuola.)

If their new foreign student-athlete takes time to get going, the onus will be on Ebona to make a Raymar Jose-like leap from transforming from an energy guy into a two-way force.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR FEU?

In recent history, FEU has been the standard of consistency in all of the league. In fact, the last time it was not in the Final Four was back in 2012.

As always, the Tamaraws have all the tools to continue contending and it will just be up to head coach Olsen Racela and that seasoned staff to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

If players from up and down the roster take a step forward as hoped for, Morayta will prove anew that it has the most consistent program in all of the league.

WHERE WOULD FEU BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82?

FEU will be there – right up there vying for its seventh playoff berth in a row.

All the seven other teams may have improved and all the seven other teams may have been grabbing all the headlines, but that doesn’t change the fact that, year in and year out, the Tamaraws will be competing with the best of them.

WHEN IS FEU’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82?

FEU is the first tough test for much talked about UP in a heavyweight battle on September 4 at Araneta Coliseum.

Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.

HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SEVEN OTHER TEAMS IN UAAP SEASON 82:

With its arsenal fully loaded, UE’s ambush good to go in UAAP 82

UAAP 82 one more chance for NU to piece the puzzle together

Espana’s hope in UAAP 82? Cansino’s return to form, UST’s return to playoffs

All-Filipino La Salle all set to cut UAAP 82 rivals down to size

Behind Ahanmisi, Adamson’s youth will be on the march in UAAP 82

For the first time in a long time, UP has gone all-in for UAAP 82

Ateneo out to give its latest golden generation a fitting farewell in UAAP 82

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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