I can’t emphasize enough how deep a hole FEU has dug themselves in that 49-72 whipping they got from ADMU last Saturday. At the mid to latter part of the first quarter all the way into the second, they played with that deer – in – the – headlights look, looking all they could like a Juniors team. That sort of thing happens occasionally, but good teams tough it out and rely on their execution to bring on their own game. Thing is, ADMU didn’t even look like they were trying. FEU completely brought it on themselves, suddenly disappearing even if ADMU wasn’t doing anything special.
There’s a quote that says you learn more from losing than winning, or something like that. If that were the case, the Universidad de Manila players are probably geniuses by now, after getting trounced by FEU Tamaraws 111-55 in the 2nd Seniors Game yesterday, May 7, 2009.
FEU Coach Glenn Capacio took the opportunity to use his second stringers for most of the stretch, making them run an efficient full court press that probably filled up the turnover column for the other team.
UdM’s Arambala and dela Cruz with 27 points total were the only two to make much of a difference, but playing the whole game they could only do so much. I won’t forget dela Cruz for his unique ‘pitik’ style of 3 point shooting, capped by a 3 from the corner that still used the glass, causing the waiting players at the sideline to react in delight.
On the other hand, I was most impressed with FEU’s #20 Cervantes. A 6’4 or so PF / C with excellent post moves and some measure of ball handling. All blowouts have their share of highlight moments, and Cervantes delivered with a terrific spin move after an attempted swipe, never losing his dribble in a strong drive. Garcia with 17 points and Eximiano looked good as well, although the latter needs to work on his concentration, occasionally losing focus.
I’ve always liked the FEU team even before the Arwind Santos days. This is a team that really understands the game. Obviously well – coached they seldom ever hang their heads, never dwelling too long on errors or looking like they don’t belong – because plainly, they do. Amongst the elite teams in the UAAP, the FEU Tamaraws bring a tough and very high level of game year after year.
As I write this, the FEU players are headed towards their dugout – many of them with tears and their eyes. At the start of Season 71, I mentioned how I didn’t even know who they were. Today, I will never forget the names JR Cawaling, Benedict Fernandez, Mark Barroca, Robert Kave, Marlon Adolfo etc., because they played with a level of intensity I HAVE NEVER SEEN SINCE I CAN’T REMEMBER ANYMORE. Forget the NBA Finals, the UE vs. FEU game that ended a few minutes ago brought me near tears myself. It is quite plainly, the closest thing to a perfect game I’ve seen in years.
Of course it’s one thing to say that, and quite another to show stats to prove it, but unfortunately since those are still to be published in the papers tomorrow, I’m only relying on memory when I say that at one point, UE was shooting 50% and FEU an astounding 70% field goal percentage. Not only were offenses clicking, but defense was terrific as well, which is amazing for any one team, but BOTH TEAMS? AT THE SAME TIME? That is just incredible.