FEU bests UP for top-seed; Pirates boot out Blazers in City Hoops
ABS-CBN Sports on May 11, 2018 04:56 PM
FEU is the top-seed in the inaugural SMART City Hoops
In a battle between two of the top teams in the 2018 SMART City Hoops 25-under Summer Classic, it was the Far Eastern University Tamaraws who were able to outlast the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in overtime, taking a 56-52 triumph last Thursday in Ortigas.
With the win, the Tamaraws finished the eliminations with an unblemished 5-0 record and secured an outright Finals berth in the tournament.
More than that, however, the squad showed tremendous character in the contest, according to head coach Olsen Racela.
"I liked the way we grinded it out right from the start. It was a very low-scoring game," shared the second-year Tamaraws tactician. "Everyone chipped in, kahit yung mga hinugot ko sa bench really helped. Their focus and awareness was there all throughout the game."
With the game knotted at 52-all with 39 seconds remaining, Axel Inigo, who had eight points in the contest, blew by his defender to score the go-ahead floater.
On the other end, Kenneth Tuffin was able to force David Murell into a tough layup that then led to a split from the stripe for JR Parker.
Leading the way for FEU in regulation was Tuffin, finishing the game with 14 points and eight rebounds. Ino Comboy chipped in 10 markers as well.
The Fighting Maroons, who ended the round with a 4-1 slate and will face the Lyceum Pirates in the knockout quarterfinals, were paced by Bright Akhuetie. The Nigerian student-athlete had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds but shot just 3-for-13 from the field.
UP ace Paul Desiderio was limited to just 10 points on a 3-of-11 shooting clip.
Meanwhile, even with the odds stacked against them, Renzo Navarro and short-handed Lyceum dug deep, surviving a grueling overtime tilt against the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 73-66.
Lyceum was able to pick up monster games from incoming rookie Lian Barbero and Yancy Remulla. Barbero had 16 points and 11 rebounds while Remulla added 14 markers and 19 boards.
But it was Renzo Navarro who steered the wheel, tallying 25 points, 11 assists, and four steals.
The Blazers, who ended their campaign with a 0-5 record, were led by Prince Carlos who had 16 markers.
LPU 73 - Navarro 25, Barbero 16, Remulla 14, Salo 7, Japson 6, Mahinay 5, Valencia 0.
CSB 66 - Carlos 16, Pagulayan 10, Flores 8, Pangalanan 7, Pili 7, Nayve 5, Miranda 4, Wilson 3, Velasco 2, Barnes 2, Belgica 2, San Juan 0.
FEU 56 - Tuffin 14, Comboy 10, Inigo 8, Ebona 6, Parker 6, Cani 5, Orizu 3, Bienes 2, Jopia 2, Ramirez 0, Casino 0, Bayquin 0, Nunag 0.
UP 52 - Akhuetie 10, Desiderio 10, Manzo 9, Murrell 6, Gozum 4, Dario 2, Tungcab 2, Lim 0, Vito 0, Santiago 0, Longa 0, Espanola 0.