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Tams go for 3-0 against Maroons

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 6th 2013

The Tamaraws battle the struggling Maroons at 11 a.m., eyeing no less than a third straight victory to keep their momentum rolling.

Going 2-0 is fine. But Nash Racela and company have other things in mind.

One would be to postpone talks of a good start until Far Eastern University (FEU) has checked everyone on the list.

Among them is perennial cellar-dweller University of the Philippines (UP) which the Tamaraws face today with “a lot of caution” as FEU seeks to remain on top of the ledger in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws battle the struggling Maroons at 11 a.m., eyeing no less than a third straight victory to keep their momentum rolling following a 79-75 overtime tripping of defending champion Ateneo de Manila University last Wednesday.

FEU’s combo guards presided over that Ateneo shellacking – minus chief gunner Kiefer Ravena – with Terrence Romeo scored 21 points while Mike Tolomia and RR Garcia added 16 and 13, respectively.

UP on the other hand absorbed its second straight loss after bowing to De La Salle University, 84-96, also last Wednesday.

Maroon returnee Marata led UP with 21 points while rookie Kyles Lao chipped in 18 and sophomore Henry Asilum had 11 for the Diliman quintet, racked by the sudden departure of playmaker Mikee Reyes over the week.

Reyes left the team after Dandan allegedly relegated him to the bench while exclaiming that the Maroons doesn’t need the comebacking guard’s services to win games.

“We should not be overconfident,” FEU coach Nash Racela said. “We have yet to face all the teams so at this point we cannot say that we are a strong team. We just have to win each game. Remember FEU had a 4-0 start last year but ended up not making the Final Four.”

Despite a more potent crew, FEU cannot simply relax against the Maroons and plunge into another slow start like its neck-and-neck encounter with Ateneo.

“Regardless which team we play, we have to have a good start and a better finish,” Racela said. “They (Tamaraws) have this tendency of not playing well especially when they think they’re up against a weak team. We have to correct that.”

The Maroons meanwhile have already “moved on” from the Mikee Reyes incident and UP coach Ricky Dandan opted to keep his peace on the matter.

The game will air on a delayed basis at 1 p.m. on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a same day replay at 9 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34 or Destiny Cable channel 36.