By the Numbers: UAAP Season 78 Finals Game 1
Paolo Mariano on Nov 26, 2015 04:09 PM
One more game separates the FEU Tamaraws from glory.
The opening showdown between Far Eastern University (FEU) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) didn’t disappoint. It lived up to the billing as a thrilling face-off between two of the league’s most formidable squads this season.
The game remained close until the waning minutes, with the Tamaraws escaping with a hard-earned 75-64 triumph. They’re now only a win away from capturing their first championship in a decade and their league-high 20th overall.
Right from the onset, the Morayta-based squad displayed composure and a sense of urgency. The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, looked tense and edgy, despite their veteran lineup. The Tams, however, know very well that winning Game 1, no matter how convincingly, doesn’t mean anything if they don’t close out the series.
Can’t Game 2 start already?
The percentage of teams in the Final Four era that clinched the crown after winning Game 1 of the finals. Since 1994, squads that drew first blood hoisted the UAAP trophy 15 out of 21 times. That, however, wasn’t the case in the past two seasons. Incidentally, FEU and UST were involved in the misfortunes. The Tamaraws lost to National University, while the Growling Tigers bowed to De La Salle University. The last time FEU won the title after taking Game 1 was in 2005.
The number of rebounds grabbed by FEU—the team’s second highest this season. It’s the most telling statistic of Game 1. UST, on the other hand, caromed only 32 rebounds. The unrelenting Tamaraws doubled the Growling Tigers’ offensive boards, 22-11. Five Tams—Mac Belo, Prince Orizu, Raymar Jose, Russell Escoto, and Mike Tolomia—outrebounded the entire UST crew. It shouldn’t come as a total shock though since FEU is the league’s top rebounding team with 48.2 RPG, while UST is dead last with 40.6 RPG.
The three-point shooting percentage of UST—the team’s lowest this season. What a time for the Growling Tigers’ outside sniping to get chilly. They only sank two—courtesy of Kevin Ferrer and Marvin Lee—of their 19 long range attempts. FEU didn’t do too well from long distance either, going 5-of-18. But in a close game, the España boys badly needed their outside shots. After all, three-point shooting has been one of their main weapons throughout the season, shooting at a league-best average of 31.0%
The number of FEU players who scored in double digits. The Tams’ firepower was in full display throughout Game 1. Roger Pogoy fired things off with 12 of his team-high 15 points in the first quarter. Then in the ensuing periods, Tolomia, Belo, Escoto, and Orizu took turns in puncturing the hoop. The five scored all but 11 of their 75-point output. They alternated in making timely baskets, especially in crunch time. In contrast, only Karim Abdul and Ferrer finished in twin digits for UST.
The number of points scored by UST’s Ed Daquioag—his lowest of the season. The athletic guard was the most conspicuous non-factor in Game 1. He only made one of his seven field goal attempts and fouled out for the second straight game. In the elimination round against the Tamaraws, he averaged 14.5 PPG. He was clearly bothered by the revolving door of FEU defenders. Ron Dennison, Monbert Arong, and Francis Tamsi did a fantastic job in alternating on him and limiting his shot-making abilities.