A day after losing to reigning champion De La Salle University in the Final Four, Far Eastern University (FEU) head coach Nash Racela said that he would fine-tune the Tamaraws’ defense when his wards face the Green Archers anew on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
“Defense will play a big role in Wednesday’s knockout game. We need to keep our aggressive defense,” Racela told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Sunday. “We have to defend well too, but I’m sure everything will be just fine.”
Defending champions Green Archers posted a 94-73 win over the Tamaraws forcing a do-or-die duel in their Final Four series for the championship berth. La Salle has to win twice over FEU because of the latter’s twice-to-beat advantage.
Although he’s not happy with the officiating of the game, Racela refused to blame anyone. “We will just focus on the game and see what adjustments we really need to do defensively and offensively. We contained their big men but their outside and perimeter shooting killed us,” he added.
Racela believes his players need to tighten their defense. His wards committed 33 fouls and were successful in 30 of their 46 free throw attempts. In comparison, the Green Archers committed just 19 fouls.
La Salle’s defense smothered Mike Tolomia limiting him to only seven points on 2-of-14 overall shooting in the field. FEU’s big guy Mac Belo led the team with 32 points but couldn’t get enough help from his teammates.
La Salle’s Jeron Teng has regained his usual aggressive form finishing with 25 points boosting Green Archers’ hope of retaining the crown.
La Salle’s victory over FEU was its first this season after absorbing two successive defeats from the Tams in the elimination round.