The two Tamaraws didn't just become Most Valuable Players in the UAAP (Abarrientos in 1991, Santos in 2003 and 2005), but also in the pros (1996 and 2013), with Johnny A even almost making it to the NBA. Their jersey numbers—14 and 19—had been retired by their alma mater, so that, in itself, says a lot about the legacy they left in college.
Abarrientos has since turned his attention to mentoring, as an assistant coach to the Star Hotshots, and where it all began, the FEU Tamaraws. On the other, Santos, now 35 years old, is still a solid player for the San Miguel Beermen, despite being at the tail end of his career. Fortunately, a new wave of FEW alums are looking to follow in the footsteps of their legendary predecessors.
TNT rookie Roger Pogoy had the game of his life as he scored a career-high 20 points (13 in the second half) to lead his team to victory, 100-98, and held his own against a familiar face—his former college teammate and Globalport top gun Terrence Romeo.
“Ang galing, e. Hindi ma-stop,” he told SPIN.ph of shadowing Romeo. “Kulang pa talaga, buti na lang tinutulungan ako ng mga teammates ko.”
Pogoy was on point in describing the play of his former backcourt partner. Romeo exploded for 35 points (11-24 FG, 6-11 3PT) and almost willed his squad to a comeback win, being down by as much as 21 at one point in the game.
Despite the outcome, he was able to draw oohs and aahs from an exhilarated crowd with his usual serving of electrifying plays:
Other FEU standouts like Mark Barroca (Star Hotshots) and Jeff Chan (Rain or Shine Elasto Painters) have proven their worth as PBA stars, while greenhorn Mac Belo (Blackwater Elite) is starting to make his mark in the league. But a possible Romeo-Pogoy rivalry might just be what the Tamaraws faithful and local hoops aficionados ordered.