The Far Eastern University Tamaraws are slowly coping with the absence of key player Rhon Jay Abarrientos and two other players as they see action on Sunday in the 85th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.
Three senior players, Xyrus Torres, LJay Gonzales and Brian Sajonia are expected to fill in the shoes of the 22-year old Abarrientos, who skipped his final year with FEU to sign up for the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis.
Torres, Gonzales and Sajonia will step up for Abarrientos, who will now devote his time with Ulsan, a finalist in 2020-2021 season of the Korean Basketball League.
In the past, Abarrientos carried much of the scoring load of the Tams, and Ojuola always protected the shaded lanes for them.
“We lost one-third of our scoring. That’s what I told my guys, there’s not one or two players who can replace Abarrientos and Ojuola. This is going to be a collective effort,” said Tams coach Olsen Racela.
The strength of the Tams will be known when they meet the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday.
The 5’11 Abarrientos’, was the main point guard for the Tams with averages of 8.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists,
Without him, sniper Xyrus Torres will have a major role in scoring.
Torres finished Season 84, being second in both total three-pointers made and three-point percentage, with his minimum of 15 three-point attempts per game.
Sajonia can also back him with his accuracy from the outside.
The Tamaraws also have Cebuano cage, Kevin Guibao from University of San Jose-Recoletos
Guibao is known as a natural wingman and with his athleticism.
He left Cebu last year after becoming the MVP in the 2019 CESAFI Partner’s Cup and after playing for the University of San Jose Recoletos Jaguars.