UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFar Eastern University coach Olsen Racela believes defending champion Ateneo is a cut above the rest of the competition in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.Racela also sees the formidable Blue Eagles very much capable of sweeping the 14-game elimination round.ADVERTISEMENT DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Ateneo, led by Thirdy Ravena, Matt Nieto and Angelo Kouame, also turned heads in the preseason after representing the Philippines in the William Jones Cup, where they beat the likes of Chinese Taipei to finish in fourth place, two months ago.As far as his team is concerned, Racela hopes the Tamaraws make a return trip to the Final Four. They were 7-7 in Season 80, just one game ahead of University of the Philippines for the last semifinals slot.“Making the Final Four is going to be tough. I always tell my players, losing one game can make a difference between making it to the Final Four or not,” Racela said.National University coach Jamike Jarin, meanwhile, thinks Ateneo, La Salle, FEU and Adamson are the Final Four favorites while University of the East’s rookie coach Joe Silva echoed Racela’s sentiments.“Ateneo’s the champion for a reason. They have a big target on their back, everybody wants to beat them,” Silva, the former Ateneo Blue Eaglets mentor, said. “I agree with coach Olsen, it’s Ateneo then, everyone else.”ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. “Everyone has a fair chance but Ateneo has the best chance,” said Racela during the UAAP Season 81 press conference Monday at Mall of Asia Arena.“With the way they played in the preseason, I think I’ll be surprised if they will lose a game in the eliminations,” Racela added. “Ateneo is there and after Ateneo, I think it’s going to be a fair fight for the other teams.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Last season, Ateneo lost only once to finish the eliminations as the No. 1 seed.The Blue Eagles then, edged the Tamaraws in a Final Four rubber match before topping the Green Archers in a thrilling three-game finals series. Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Nadal, Del Potro into US Open last 8, dad-to-be Isner keeps home hopes alive View commentslast_img read more