Little margin of error against Ateneo, says FEU’s Cebuano cager Ebona
FAR Eastern University (FEU) forward Barkley Ebona was seen crying buckets after their thrilling 71-70 victory over the La Salle Green Archers that put the Tamaraws in the Final Four of Season 81 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
And while most thought they were tears of joy, the hardworking Cebuano explained that he was weeping because of the pain he was felt at the time that was brought about by cramps to both his legs.
“I was crying in the last five minutes of the game because both my legs were already cramping up. They were really hard already,” said Ebona, who used to play for the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U).
The win set FEU up with a Final Four clash against the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, who will be armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Ebona said that the margin for error when going up against a team like Ateneo is so little that the Tamaraws really have to be that disciplined.
“We have to match or even surpass how disciplined they are on both offense and defense. We have to execute take care of every single possession because Ateneo really makes you pay for whatever mistakes you make,” Ebona said.
Ebona, who is from Talamban, Cebu City, finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds, 10 of which were of the offensive variety.
FEU assistant coach Ryan Betia was all praises for the effort of the 6-foot-3 banger.
“Ayaw nya pa mag bakasyon eh,” said Betia. (He doesn’t want to go on a vacation yet.)
Ebona said he forced himself to play with the pain because he knew his team needed him.
“Coach Olsen (Racela) kept on asking me if I was alright and I just told him that I was even though I really wasn’t because there was no other big men left after Prince Orizu fouled out,” he said.
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