FEU's Ken Tuffin relieved to snap out of slump
MANILA, Philippines – For Far Eastern University's Ken Tuffin, it was the perfect breakout game he needed as he endured a brutal slump throughout the entire first round of the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament.
"So actually, me and coach [Olsen Racela] had a one-on-one talk, towards the end of the first round," the Filipino-Kiwi forward said.
"I just explained to him that everyone can see I was struggling. I was adjusting positions, so the whole year I've been playing the 2 (shooting guard), 3 (small forward), and now we were lacking at the 4 (power forward).
"So that was a hard transition for me, but honestly, I just didn't give up. I mean, I know what I'm capable of. I work hard and I just didn't give up."
The Tamaraws needed all hands on deck in their second-round kickoff match against the UP Fighting Maroons last Sunday, October 6.
After trailing by as many as 16 points in the 4th, the Bo Perasol-less Maroons still managed to send the game to overtime on the back of clutch plays from Kobe Paras and Javi Gomez de Liaño.
However, it was FEU who had the last laugh in the extra period as Tuffin buried a go-ahead triple in the final minute. The Tamaraws never again relinquished the lead.
Tuffin finished the game with a season-high 18 points built on 5-of-6 triples, and FEU needed every single mark as it escaped with an 82-79 win.
Prior to his much-needed eruption, Tuffin was averaging a forgettable 3.4 points in his first 7 games on just 30% shooting and 27% from three.
Although he now has a good game under his belt, Tuffin clarified that he's not looking to get more offensive looks from this point.
"Every game is different, but as coach said, you know, our approach shouldn't change," he said. "So I mean whatever I need to do next game to help my team and that's what I'll do."
More than quantity, Tuffin just prefers quality schemes as FEU marches on with its Final Four bid.
"Just stay consistent. Every game is different, so different teams require different defensive schemes, different matchups and stuff," he continued.
"So we'll watch some film, see what we did, we'll see what we can improve on most...and we prepare for a new game on Wednesday." – Rappler.com