Ramirez does it all in FEU’s comeback against San Sebastian
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 12, 2017 01:43 PM
DIFFERENCE-MAKER. FEU rookie RJ Ramirez is, slowly but surely, making a name for himself.
With Raymar Jose and Monbert Arong gone, Far Eastern University is waiting for new stars to shine.
Little by little in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament, RJ Ramirez is getting there.
Scoring all of the last seven points for either team on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, the Filipino-Canadian proved to be the difference for the Tamaraws in their come-from-behind victory, 84-80, versus resurgent collegiate power San Sebastian College-Recoletos.
Ramirez turned in seven points of his 18 points, two of his nine rebounds, and both two of his steals in the last two minutes to spark FEU to the top-seed of Group B with a 7-1 record. “I just did my job – play defense and work hard,” he expressed post-game.
The Tamaraws found themselves behind by nine with 3:56 remaining before Richard Escoto and Arvin Tolentino went back-to-back from deep.
With under two minutes left on the clock, coach Eric Gonzales then sent in his incoming first-year player who is showing up to be a difference-maker for his team.
With an inside basket, a follow up of a teammate’s miss, and a steal leading to a layup, Ramirez imposed his will on both ends.
The Golden Stags had no answer for him.
Axel Inigo contributed 16 points of his own for FEU which will now await the fourth-seed from Group A.
However, Gonzales, who was filling in for Olsen Racela, was quick to point out that their goal is something other than playoff seeding. “Ni-remind kami ni coach Olsen, number 1 or number 3, it doesn’t matter,” he shared.
He then continued, “What matters is we have to be consistent.”
For San Sebastian, Ryan Costelo and Jerick Fabian had 17 and 13 points, respectively, to top the scoring column. Jayson David also added a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Held scoreless in the last four minutes, however, they suffer only their second setback in eight games.
Even with the loss, the Golden Stags remain one of the most impressive teams in the tournament as evidenced by an 11-0 rush in the final frame that turned a four-point deficit into a 78-71 lead.
At 6-2, they still have a chance at the second-seed depending on the eliminations endings of National University and University of the Philippines.
FEU 84 – Ramirez 18, Inigo 16, Escoto 11, Tolentino 9, Bienes 8, Orizu 6, Cani 5, Tuffin 4, Comboy 4, Nunag 3, Trinidad 0, Parker 0, Bayquin 0
SAN SEBASTIAN 80 – Costelo 17, Fabian 13, Calisaan 12, David 10, Gayosa 10, Capobres 7, Navarro 5, Calma 4, Bulanadi 2, Ilagan 0, Baetiong 0, Valdez 0, Mercado 0
QUARTER SCORES: 19-23, 40-41, 62-59, 84-80
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