Tamaraws go streaking after turning back upset-conscious Maroons

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 25, 2016 04:54 PM
Tamaraws go streaking after turning back Fighting Maroons
POETIC JUSTICE. Prince Orizu had a couple of big-time game-saving rejections as FEU shooed away UP.

Jarrel Lim and Paul Desiderio had back-to-back shots that would have given the University of the Philippines the advantage against Far Eastern University.

Only, Prince Orizu was right there to swat those shots away.

Orizu’s defense coupled with Monbert Arong’s big baskets fueled the Tamaraws’ late charge for a 51-49 triumph over the Fighting Maroons on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Not only did the Nigerian’s blocks lead to the defending champions’ first back-to-back wins, it also delivered some sort of poetic justice after a couple of questionable calls in the final frame. “I think those were really questionable calls,” coach Nash Racela expressed in his post-game interview.

At the 2:48 mark of the pivotal period, referees called a disqualifying foul on Ron Dennison – causing an automatic ejection. Replays showed, however, that Dennison did not do anything to Paul Desiderio when the latter fell to the ground while seemingly writhing in pain.

Desiderio’s split followed by Jett Manuel’s long two tied the tally at 47. The Fighting Maroons then had a couple of chances to take the lead, but it was at that point that Orizu willed his way into the big-time defensive stops.

Nothing but appreciative of the effort of his second-year center, Racela said, “It’s nice that Prince never gave up on the play. Talagang hinabol niya yuntil the last second.” Arong only capitalized on his teammate’s effort with a split from the stripe and then a turnaround jumper that put FEU up by three with 14 seconds to go.

Javi Gomez de Liano kept UP threatening at 49-50 still with 6.9 ticks on the clock, but Jojo Trinidad made good on both his free throws to seal the deal in the Tamaraws’ advance to 3-2 – sharing the second spot with Ateneo de Manila University.

The Cebuano was the lone FEU player in double-digits with 14 point. Orizu only contributed one point, but hauled in 15 rebounds and registered four rejections to help his team start their first winning streak of the season.

“We welcome those first back-to-back wins, but we expected again an up and down season for us and every game, we tell our players that it’s not going to be easy,” Racela said.

That was especially true in this game as the scoreboard read 5-4 in favor of UP after the first quarter. The nine points combined was the lowest output in a single quarter since 2003.

Desiderio paced the Maroons with 15 points, but muffed on seven of his 15 chances from charities. Falling short once again, they now stand at 1-4.

BOX SCORES

FEU 51 – Arong 14, Trinidad 7, Holmqvist 7, Jose 6, Comboy 6, Nunag 4, Dennison 2, Bienes 2, Ebona 2, Orizu 1, Inigo 0, Bayquin 0, Tuffin 0, Denila 0

UP 49 – Desiderio 15, Moralde 13, Manuel 8, Dario 6, Gomez de Liano 3, Espanola 2, Prado 2, Harris 0, Webb 0, Lim 0, Vito 0, Asilum 0, Jaboneta 0, Lao 0, Romero 0

QUARTER SCORES: 4-5, 20-15, 38-30, 51-49

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