UAAP: FEU coach Olsen Racela 'excited' to face defending champ La Salle on opening weekend

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 8) — With roughly a month to go before the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 kicks off, host school Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws are ready for battle.

Head coach Olsen Racela hopes that a couple more of practice sessions will strengthen his squad for the long road ahead of them.

"We're ready. A few more practice games to toughen us up, then we'll be ready," he said in an interview on CNN Philippines' Sports Desk Tuesday morning.

READ: Olsen Racela replaces brother Nash as FEU head coach

The 46-year-old Racela is thrilled to go up against the defending men's seniors basketball champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers in their opening game.

"I'm excited to play against La Salle," Racela said. "All teams are strong this season."

READ: New Tamaraws coach Olsen Racela promises stronger team

Racela said that team chemistry is not an issue, but rather leading them to compete as one unit considering that six new players are coming in.

"We have no problem in terms of chemistry, it's just a matter of bringing them inside the court and being on the same page," he said.

Asked on what his goal is for this year, Racela and his crew are focused to clinch a playoff spot again.

"We're setting our goal conservatively -- Final Four is our realistic goal," he said.

The Morayta-based squad finished third last year at the end of the elimination round, only to be booted out by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the semifinals.

ALSO READ: La Salle's Montalbo 'hungry' to win back-to-back UAAP titles

FEU and La Salle square off at the Mall of Asia Arena on September 10 after the match between University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers and University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.