WITH all the distractions of his recent appointment as a head coach for a pro team, Nash Racela is still focusing at the task at hand for Far Eastern University.
“Still charging!!”, said Racela in a tweet a couple of days ago.
Determined to win a second straight championship, the Tamaraws seek to assure themselves of a semifinals playoff berth against dangerous University of the Philippines at 2 p.m. today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Running second behind 10-0 La Salle, FEU is sporting a 7-2 card and has won its last six contests, proving everyone of its capability to defend the crown.
This will be Racela’s first game since the reported move of Talk ‘N Text a couple of days to have the 44-year old coach as its new bench tactician in the PBA starting next month.
Racela is expected to take over once the UAAP season ends.
But first things first for Racela, as the Tamaraws are pulling away in the race for the No. 2 spot, which has now the battleground since the Green Archers, the first team to make it to the Final Four, are a cinch to finish on top – and a possible 14-game sweep of the elimination.
FEU is coming off a long 10-day break after a 59-48 win over University of Santo Tomas as its last Sunday’s match against University of the East was called off due to inclement weather.
The Tamaraws must be wary of the Fighting Maroons, who have playing impressive basketball in the second round.
UP beat Ateneo and Adamson in succession and made a gallant stand against La Salle before dropping a 72-78 decision last Saturday.
The Maroons are currently tied with the Growling Tigers in sixth place at 3-7, just one-and-a-half game out of the No. 4 spot.
The Falcons, who at 4-5 are precariously clinging in fourth place, hope to bounce back from their back-to-back losses against the Red Warriors in the second meeting of brothers Franz and Derrick Pumaren in the day’s other game at 4 p.m.
Adamson hopes to avenge its 57-64 loss to UE in the first round, where Derrick, aside from ending his team’s six-game losing skid has pulled one off his brother Franz.
The Falcons are also fresh from a 10-day hiatus after absorbing a 66-70 loss to the Maroons as their last Sunday’s clash with the Blue Eagles was also canceled.
Now holding last place at 2-7, the Red Warriors are now in a must-win situation as another loss will virtually kiss their Final Four hopes goodbye. UE suffered a 61-75 defeat to Ateneo last Wednesday.