It was a chance for both teams to erase their heartbreaking losses during their last appearances in the UAAP Finals — but only one went on to claim victory.
Far Eastern University outlasted the University of Santo Tomas, 67-62, in the rubbermatch of the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball titular battle to claim its 20th crown in the league.
In the first quarter, UST came off with a hot start with Kevin Ferrer opening up with a three while Karim Abdul and Ed Daquioag contributing to an early lead for the Tigers.
FEU’s Mike Tolomia kept the game close and the first quarter ended with 19-18 in favor of UST.
The 2nd quarter was FEU’s turn to dictate the game with continuous s heroics of Mac Belo but Abdul prevented the Tamaraws from breaking out from the game.
The FEU Tamaraws had controlled the boards in the 1st have 26 rebounds compared to UST’s 19 but it was the 9 turnovers and 25% feild goal shooting that kept them from taking over the game.
The game was tied ending the first half with the FEU tandem of Belo and Tolomia combined for 19 of their team’s 30 1st half points for the Tamaraws.
UST’s Game 2 hero, Ferrer only had 3 points with only shooting 3 shots. Abdul and Daquioag carried much of the load for UST in the first half combining for 18 of the Tigers’ 30 first half points.
Entering the 2nd half, it was a battle between Belo and Daquioag. The Tamaraws had more fire power to give out with Pogoy and Tamsi providing key plays to help FEU lead at the end of the 3rd quarter 51-46.
In the final quarter, Daquioag seemed to be the player that will break the hearts of the Tamaraws. The Tigers regained the lead and led as much as 6 points. With a fatigued Belo, Pogoy carried the load with 7 straight points to claim back the lead.
Belo finished the game with 23 points and eight rebounds to capture the Finals MVP award. Roger Pogoy also chipped in with 14 points and Tolomia followed with 13 points.
FEU (67) – Belo 23, Pogoy 14, Tolomia 13, Tamsi 6, Escoto Ru. 5, Inigo 3, Jose 2, Orizu 1, Dennison 0, Arong 0, Escoto Ri. 0, Trinidad 0.
UST (62) – Daquioag 21, Abdul 12, Lee 9, Ferrer 6, Vigil 6, Lao 6, Bonleon 2, Sheriff 2, Faundo 0, Huang 0.
Quarterscores: 19-18, 30-30, 51-46, 67-62.