UAAP: FEU a thorn on the side of Ateneo anew with big-time win
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 10, 2018 06:26 PM
FEU proved to be a problem once more for defending champion Ateneo
In the span of three days, Far Eastern University has taken down the top two teams in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Drawing contributions from up and down the roster, the Tamaraws stopped erstwhile streaking Ateneo de Manila University dead in its tracks via a convincing 63-60 victory on Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
The Blue Eagles were in complete command in the first half only to see FEU go on a 17-7 stampede to tie the tally entering the final frame. “We had a bad start. Against Ateneo, hindi pwede yun kaya hindi nga namin alam kung paano namin nagawa ‘to,” head coach Olsen Racela told reporters post-game.
There, the two teams were still going at it and Angelo Kouame pulled the defending champions to just 60-63 with 21.2 ticks to go on the clock. After a defensive stop at the other end, they even had a shot to tie the game.
Adrian Wong was not able to find an open man, however, and was forced to put up a contester triple that missed the mark.
Not long after, the Tamaraws were celebrating their second straight triumph over a title contender. Just last Sunday, they gave Adamson University its first taste of defeat.
Hubert Cani was the only player in double-digits with 12 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.
He definitely wasn’t alone, however, as five players also contributed either nine or eight points. “I just want to give credit to our players. Sinunod nila yung game plan,” coach Olsen said.
With top gun Arvin Tolentino serving a one-game suspension, veteran Richard Escoto and youngster Brandrey Bienes stepped up big-time by merging for 12 points and eight rebounds.
With the win, FEU now stands in joint second in the standings at the end of the first round with also 5-2 Ateneo.
Last season, FEU took Ateneo to the limit when the two teams met in the semifinals.
The Blue Eagles also had only one player in double-digit scoring in Angelo Kouame who posted a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double to go along with four blocks. Thirdy Ravena struggled with just eight points, four assists, and two steals before fouling out with three minutes remaining.
FEU 63 – Cani 12, Parker 9, Inigo 9, Comboy 8, Orizu 8, Bienes 8, Stockton 5, Escoto 4, Ebona 0, Tuffin 0, Gonzales 0, Bayquin 0
ATENEO 60 – Kouame 16, Verano 8, Ravena 8, Nieto Mi 8, Asistio 6, Mamuyac 6, Mendoza 4, Go 2, Wong 2, Tio 0, Navarro 0, Belangel 0, Nieto Ma 0, Black 0
QUARTER SCORES: 11-19, 22-32, 39-39, 63-60
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.