Allan Albano laying foundation for FEU's continued contention

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 22, 2020 05:18 PM
Albano laying foundation for FEU's continued contention
Allan Albano and his staff in FEU-Diliman are making sure the green and gold never ever runs out of promising prospects

UAAP boys basketball, in the last decade, has been dominated by Nazareth School of National University and Ateneo de Manila High School.

In the last 10 years, the Bullpups and the Blue Eaglets have won all but two championships.

That one and only other team to have won it all? Far Eastern University-Diliman.

And while the Baby Tamaraws have not been as bejeweled as National U or Ateneo in recent history, they have competed with them year in and year out just the same.

In fact, the last time the green and gold's high school squad missed out on the playoff bus was Season 77.

That means a five-season streak of making the playoffs - not that far from their kuya Tamaraws who have charged to the next round from Season 75 to now.

Safe to say, all in all, the healthiest basketball program - at least in both the men's and boys' side - in the UAAP is FEU's.

Their continued contention is, apparently, all because they start them young.

"I think most of the credit should go to our high school coaches like coach Allan Albano," active consultant Nash Racela said on Coaches Unfiltered. "Kumbaga, kami nina coach Olsen , naghihintay na lang kami doon sa mga produkto na meron si Coach Allan."

Albano was the shot-caller in the Baby Tamaraws' pleasant surprise of a title in Season 79.

There, he introduced the world to the all-around force that was L-Jay Gonzales who was backstopped by the likes of RJ Abarrientos, Royce Alforque, Jun Gabane, Jack Gloria, Kenji Roman, and Xyrus Torres.

If many of those names sound familiar, that's because they have only moved on up to starring in the Srs. "FEU has always been known as yung program na akala mo walang player. I think yung player development is very crucial lalo na ngayong most of our players come our high school," Tamaraws head coach Olsen Racela said.

Coach Olsen went on to say that while the FEU Srs.'s last championship was led by Mac Belo and Roger Pogoy, players who sharpened their saws first with Team B, their current core has been harvested from their crop in Diliman.

Indeed, lead guard Gonzales, go-go guard Alforque, sharpshooter Torres, and stretch forward Brandrey Bienes are all proud products from the Baby Tamaraws.

Add prized prospects coming in Abarrientos and Cholo Anonuevo and already half of the green and gold's team for UAAP 82 has been homegrown. "Maganda lalo ngayon yung relationship ng high school sa college namin. I think that's very important for our program na imbis na umaalis yung players mo towards supposedly greener pastures, nag-stay sila," Coach Nash said.

With that, FEU is all-set to continue walking this way. "Now, ang recruitment talaga namin is focused in high school, yung younger players," its active consultant said.

With that, FEU is all-set to continue entrusting its future in the more than capable hands of Albano and assistants Mark Isip, Denok Miranda, and Vic Pablo.

And without a doubt, because Allan Albano is hard at work laying the foundation, the Baby Tamaraws and the Tamaraws aren't going away anytime soon.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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