SAN JUAN City – Far Eastern University and new coach Olsen Racela made a grand debut at the 11th FilOil Flying V Premier Cup by crushing College of Saint Benilde, 73-67, in the featured game Wednesday (May 17) at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Tamaraws leaned on the fine performance of another newcomer in guard Hubert Cani to send the Blazers tumbling to their third straight setback.
Cani, a transfer from Ateneo de Manila University, unloaded 15 of his eventual game-high 18 points in the first half on top of three assists in only eight minutes of action. Center Richard Escoto also struck heavily with 11 points and five rebounds as he ably filled the void left by Prince Orizu who was suspended by Coach Racela for missing a practice session.
“We are a smaller team now so we have to improve on defense,” said Coach Racela. “We need to learn to finish strong and fix our execution.”
The coach was referring to the fourth period wherein the Blazers outscored the Tams, 20-9. Clement Leutcheu and JJ Domingo spearheaded the Blazers’ rally to both finish with 11 points.
Coach Racela thanked his coaching staff composed of Jojo Lastimosa, Eric Gonzales, Jonathan de Guzman, Gilbert Lao and Johnny Abarrientos. “They are a big help to me and they were here last year so it helped in the transition when I took over.”
How They Scored:
FAR EASTERN (73) – Cani 18, Escoto 11, Dennison 8, Tolentino 8, Ramirez 7, Comboy 6, Bienes 6, Parker 3, Tuffin 3, Ebona 2, Inigo 1, Nunag 0.
SAINT BENILDE (67) – JJ Domingo 11, Leutcheu 11, Haruna 10, Sta. Maria 9, Dixon 8, San Juan 6, Naboa 5, Suarez 2, Mercado 2, Castor 2, Pili 1, Young 0.
Period Scores: 26-18, 43-29, 64-47, 73-67.