View from the Enemy: UP Fighting Maroons

The FEU Tamaraws escaped the overtime thriller with a win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles. They showed their resiliency and poise in the late stages of the game. It was at the early stages of the game though where they were overconfident because of the news that star guard Kiefer Ravena was not going to suit up and would eventually miss his first game in the UAAP. They started sluggishly and trailed 14-4. Terrence Romeo was also pulled out after a little over two minutes of action because of sloppy errors.

The UP Fighting Maroons are now 0-2 and hungry for their first win. It didn’t take long for many to notice Sam Marata’s offensive repertoire in his new alma mater. Marata has proven that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the UAAP and will bring problems for the opposing team. Kyles Lao also had a spectacular night with 18 points as the starting shooting guard against the DLSU Green Archers. He showed why he was one of the best recruits this year. He was dangerous in the open court, fearless going to the basket and had the ability to draw fouls where he made all eight of his attempts at the line. Other rookies Suarez, Ligad, Desiderio also were impressive in their first outings.

This young UP team has a lot of talented players and has a lot of potential. The FEU Tamaraws might get caught up in their early season success and be overconfident in this game. This game has the makings of a potential upset and will be interesting to see how it develops.


RR Garcia shooting over Mikee Reyes. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News Sports)

Keys to the game

Don’t be overconfident

The FEU Tamaraws trailed early versus the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles with sloppy play and overconfidence. It falls upon Nash Racela to keep his team focused and ready. The team must defend and respect the talent of the UP team. They must not be lackadaisical. They have to run their sets and fear for their lives to get this win.

  • Defend Marata
  • Sam likes to shoot crazy long three pointers and sometimes there’s no defense for that when it goes in, but they have to be ready on closeouts and force him to either be a passer or to drive the lane.
  • Make Young Fellas jumpshooters
  • Most of the youthful players like Asilum, Lao and Suarez are excellent when driving to the basket and drawing fouls. The Tamaraws must make these players shoot long jumpers rather than driving into the lane.
  • Big Three must play like the Big Three
  • The trio of Garcia-Romeo-Tolomia are the primary scorers on this FEU team and they will be asked to carry the offense of the Tamaraws. They must show a healthy mix of shooting jumpers, driving the lane, making plays for their teammates and the occasional Isolation.

The FEU Tamaraws have the experience and a winning culture. They’re on a roll going 2-0 and for me the only thing that can derail them against UP is overconfidence. If this is the case, the UP team has to capitalize on this or else I think FEU might cruise to a victory. FEU gets to 3-0.