The Far Eastern Univeristy Tamaraws survived a fierce 4th quarter comeback by the University of Santo Tomas Tigers to win Game One of their best-of-three UAAP Finals battle, 75-64.
Both teams started strong but in the 2nd quarter, the Tamaraws started to put points into the bank that they carried on to the 4th quarter to prevent a complete UST comeback. With clutch plays from Orizu and Russel Escoto’s 3-point shot coming in before the 2-minute mark, FEU never looked back and sealed the first game of the series.
“This team has been an underrated defensive team and these boys worked hard,” said Racela.
RR Pogoy scored 15 points to lead the Tamaraws but it was Mac Belo’s 13 points and 13 rebounds earned the nod as the best player of the game. They had more help with Tolomia cashing in 14 points and 7 rebounds plus Prince Orizu contributing 10 points and 9 rebounds.
FEU maximized their height advantage over the UST by grabbing a total of 56 rebounds compared to the Tigers’ 32.
“Our rebounds are a big help for us,” said Belo “We all had to contribute to get one rebound so we could start the run and our transition plays.”
In a valiant effort to keep the game close for UST, Karim Abdul had 19 points, 9 rebounds and Kevin Ferrer added 15 points.
Ed Daquioag, a player who has helped UST to get to the finals was held with only 4 points and even fouled out of the game.
The Tamaraws now has a foot in the door and put themselves in a familiar position to win the championship this coming Saturday at the Araneta Colleseum. This was the same story last year as they won the first game of their series against the NU Bulldogs but lost the following games.
“We learned our lesson from last year’s finals,” said Racela. We are hoping that it is a good reminder for us to be humble so we can get another win.”
FEU – Pogoy 15, Tolomia 14, Belo 13, Escoto 12, Orizu 10, Tamsi 5, Jose 4, Arong 2, Inigo 0, Dennison 0, Escoto, 0
UST – Abdul 19, Ferrer 15, Vigil 8, Bonleon 6, Sheriff 6, Lee 6, Daquioag 4, Lao 0, Faundo 0
Quarter Scores: 28-24, 47-34, 57-51, 75-64.