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INTERVIEW: Rian G. Hernandez
PHOTOGRAPHY: Aaron R. Vicencio

FEU Tamaraws, 1989-1992

Can you describe the competition back then?

Underdog kami, actually nung nag back-to-back titles kami nung 1991 and 1992. Ang teams to beat noon La Salle, Adamson, and UST. Wala kaming solid na center nung time na yun. Maliit lang yung lineup namin compared sa ibang teams. Nung 1991, La Salle ang kalaban namin [sa championship]. Medyo controversial yung larong yun. Fouled out na si Tony Boy Espinosa pero naglalaro pa siya. Tapos humingi kami ng rematch. Pero hindi na dumating ang La Salle kasi champion na raw sila. Nung 1992, Adamson naman [ang kalaban namin sa Finals]—Marlou Aquino and EJ Feihl combined yun. Sentro namin noon lumalabas wing man namin. Tulong-tulong lang kaya siguro nanalo kami sa kanila.

What were your other memorable games?
Nung 1992 nag-knock-out match kami ng UST kung sino ang makakalaban ng Adamson. Nung mag-overtime, tapos last six seconds, tie pa rin ang score. Tinira ko, swerteng tira mula sa mid-court yung bola. Na-shoot, natalo sila. Three-points na nagdala sa amin sa Finals.

Aside from a back-to-back title, what other plums did you bag?
Nag-Rookie of the Year ako nung 1989. Tapos nung 1990, kasama ako sa Mythical Five, tsaka Best Defensive Player ako. Nung 1991 naman, Mythical Five, Best Defensive Player, at MVP.

How would you compare your FEU team before to the FEU team now?
Powerhouse cast na ang FEU ngayon. Lahat ng players ngayon puwedeng threat. Unlike nung team namin na mabibilang mo lang yung players na mahirap i-stop ng kalaban. Ngayon kasi puwedeng mag-recruit outside Manila. Kasi nung time namin, kung sino lang ang nag-tryout sila lang yung may chance na makapasok sa team.

Aside from basketball, what were your pastimes in college?
Actually wala, eh. Self-supporting ako dati. Sinubukan kong magtrabaho sa Dunkin Donuts at sa Jollibee habang player at estudyante ako, pandagdag lang sa allowance. Sinubukan ko pero nag-quit din ako, hindi ko kaya isabay sa paglalaro at pag-aaral, eh.

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