Tolomia takes charge as FEU takes down NU
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 07, 2015 07:37 PM
DIFFERENT STROKES. NU imposed their defensive will at the start, but FEU found a way to crank up its high-powered offense to squeak with the win.
Bottom line, the first meeting between defending champion National University and reigning runner-up Far Eastern University in the UAAP 78 Men’s Basketball Tournament was a tale of two halves.
The Bulldogs dominated the defensive struggle in the first half before the Tamaraws finally broke free all the way to a 61-59 win on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The rematch of last year’s Finals was deadlocked at 52 inside the last three minutes until a freshly-reinserted Mike Tolomia fired back-to-triples from the same spot at the top of the key to boost FEU ahead, 58-52. The Tamaraws increased their lead even more via a 3-1 rush for a score of 61-54 with 1:10 remaining.
The Bulldogs then rang off five straight points to move to just 59-61 and got the ball back again after Paolo Javelona beautifully defended Tolomia. However, Alfred Aroga’s weak pass was easily intercepted by Francis Tamsi who muffed his first free throw before intentionally missing the second to let the clock simply run out.
Tolomia scored 11 of his game-high 19 points, including the go-ahead basket, in the final frame to lead the Tamaraws’ charge to a share of first-place with seven wins in eight games. “We just wanted to treat this as just another game,” coach Nash Racela said in his post-game conference
NU’s trademark defense was present throughout as they allowed no more than 16 points in all four quarters. It was an offense that only mustered 25 points in the second half that did them in and dropped them to 3-4 after the first round.
FEU 61 – Tolomia 19, Belo 9, Pogoy 7, Escoto Ru 5, Arong 4, Jose 4, Orizu 4, Tamsi 4, Trinidad 3, Escoto Ri 2, Comboy 0, Ebona 0, Holmqvist K 0, Holmqvist S 0, Inigo 0
NU 59 – Aroga 17, Alolino 10, Neypes 10, Alejandro 7, Javelona 4, Morido 4, Abatayo 3, Salim 2, Tansingco 2, Diputado 0, Javillonar 0
QUARTER SCORES: 13-11, 29-34, 45-40, 61-59
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