Tamaraws gore Warriors out of contention
IN AND OUT. FEU is now alone at fourth while also eliminating one of the teams pursuing them for that spot.
Far Eastern University has not been playing its best basketball as of late in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
A gritty 79-63 victory versus very game University of the East on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, however, just might be the boost the Tamaraws need for their playoff push.
Under siege by the Red Warriors who were desperate for a win, the boys from Morayta leaned on the hustle of Richard Escoto, Prince Orizu, and Ron Dennison to pull away late. “This is a good confidence-booster for us going into the homestretch,” head coach Olsen Racela said.
With the two teams still going at it in the final frame, those three teamed up for the 11-4 charge that increased a two-point lead into a 66-57 advantage in their favor with under four minutes remaining. “I’m just proud of the way we played in the second half,” he said.
Three of five makes from that run came off of offensive rebounds.
Following another defensive stop, Arvin Tolentino then put the game away for good for FEU with a four-point play.
Not long after, they were celebrating their return to solo fourth now at 6-6.
This is a much-welcome development after having lost five of their last six.
Orizu turned in his best game of the season with a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double to go along with two blocks while Tolentino and Dennison combined for 18 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
First-year point guard Jasper Parker also shined with a UAAP career-best 18 points on top of eight assists. “Kasi si (Jasper) naman, it’s not about his scoring, but the way he orchestrates everything for us. The scoring, parang bonus na lang sa akin yun,” Racela said.
The Tamaraws will be able to get a tighter grip on solo fourth depending on the result of the matchup between 5-6 University of the Philippines and 8-4 Adamson University.
For UE, Alvin Pasaol topscored with 19 points, but shot 32 percent from the field and turned the ball over eight times.
Running out of gas in the endgame, they bow out of contention with a 3-10 record. They have not been to the Final Four since 2009.
FEU 79 – Parker 18, Orizu 14, Tolentino 10, Dennison 9, Trinidad 9, Cani 8, Tuffin 4, Escoto 3, Comboy 2, Bayquin 2, Inigo 0, Ebona 0, Ramirez 0
UE 63 – Pasaol 18, Olayon 14, Maloles 8, Acuno 8, Manalang 7, Bartolome 4, Conner 4, Derige 0, Varilla 0, Cullar 0, Toribio 0, Abanto 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-22, 29-33, 49-49, 79-63
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