UAAP By the Numbers: Finals Game 3
Paolo Mariano on Dec 03, 2015 05:40 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim/ABS-CBN Sports)
Green and gold were the colors of the day.
Far Eastern University (FEU) captured its 20th UAAP crown after escaping a hard-fighting University of Santo Tomas (UST) crew, 67-62 in a thrilling finish. The Tamaraws displayed composure and relentless defense in crunch time as they made a 14-3 closing run to seal the elusive title.
The Tams lived up to the tag of being the season favorites. They stayed true to their system all year long and found vindication after their bitter finals defeat to National University (NU) last season.
The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, still overachieved despite falling short in the Last Dance. They weren’t part of almost anyone’s radar prior to Season 78 yet they were a couple of possessions away from completing a fairytale campaign.
Fans were treated to a fantastic, well-played series that went the full route. What a fitting way to cap off another unforgettable, gripping UAAP season.
The last time FEU won the UAAP title prior to yesterday’s triumph. It took the Tamaraws a decade to bring the diadem back to Morayta. They swept De La Salle University in the finals of Season 68. The Green Archers, led by Joseph Yeo, had a chance to extend the series to a Game 3 but Mythical Five member Mark Isip converted a three-point play in the final minute. Season MVP Arwind Santos was also adjudged Finals MVP after averaging 21.5 PPG and 13.5 RPG.
The rebounding average of FEU in the finals. The Tamaraws dominated the boards the entire series. It proved to be the key statistic. They even upped their league-leading mark of 48.2 RPG in the elimination round. The Tams grabbed a total of 156 rebounds, including 55 from the offensive end. That’s more than one carom per minute. Six players averaged at least 4.0 RPG in the series. In contrast, UST only averaged 37.0 RPG in the finals, lower than its 40.6 in the elimination round.
17.3 & 10.7
The scoring and rebounding averages of Mac Belo in the finals. It was clear from Game 1 that he wasn’t going to allow another diadem slip away. The reticent star forward asserted his might on both ends throughout the three-game series. Like all the great players, he embraced the responsibility of carrying his team amid the intense pressure. In the title-clincher, he put up 23 points on 54% shooting and eight rebounds. He was the clear winner to take home the bonus Finals MVP plum.
The number of turnovers committed by UST. The Growling Tigers were successful in Game 2 because they took care of the ball, coughing it up only seven times. But in the winner-take-all, they tallied a bunch of TOs, nine coming in the second half. FEU converted UST’s 16 miscues to 15 points. The Tamaraws also committed 16 errors but they somewhat cancelled it out with extra possessions from offensive rebounds. In their Game 1 loss, the boys from España had—wait for it—16 turnovers.
The number of points scored by Kevin Ferrer. Majority of the UST faithful must be deeply disappointed that of all the games in Season 78, the talented forward disappeared when it mattered the most. He failed to finish in double digits for the first time this season. He only took a season-low seven shots, two of them in the dying seconds of the match when the outcome was already settled. It was unfortunate and almost inexplicable. Such an anticlimactic end to a memorable senior year.