Ron Dennison remains the only battle-tested veteran, but Far Eastern University just proved on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre that it has the poise and presence needed to pull off a win.
Three different Tamaraws scored in a 7-0 finishing kick that turned out to be the knockout blow in an 88-77 victory over the National University Bulldogs in a heavyweight bout that lived up to its billing.
“It’s a well-played game today against a UAAP team like NU,” a more-than-satisfied head coach Olsen Racela said after he and his boys registered their third consecutive victory to begin the Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.
FEU was ahead, 81-71, inside the last three minutes before J-Jay Alejandro rallied the Bulldogs to within 4 points.
Racela sued for time to regroup his troops who then immediately responded with a well-executed play that ended with a Prince Orizu dunk. “I was pretty confident na malalagpasan ng players ko yun,” Racela expressed.
A layup by RJ Ramirez and a triple by Kenneth Tuffin then put the finishing touches on the Tamaraws’ big-time win.
Newcomer Ramirez topped the scoring column with 15 points to go with 5 assists and 3 steals.
Team captain Dennison contributed 12 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds while transferee Arvin Tolentino added 12 points.
For NU, Sudenese Issa Gaye showed the way with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Scoreless in the last 90 seconds, the Bulldogs suffered their second setback in 5 games.
FEU 88 – Ramirez 15, Dennison 12, Tolentino 12, Cani 9, Bienes 8, Escoto 8, Orizu 8, Comboy 7, Tuffin 4, Inigo 3, Parker 2, Ebona 0, Trinidad 0, Bayquin 0
NU 77 – Gaye 14, Morido 12, Alejandro 11, Salem 11, Tibayan 9, Bartlett 4, Yu 4, Diputado 4, Aquino 2, Rangel 2, Lastimosa 2, Mosqueda 2, Abatayo 0, Galvelo 0
QUARTER SCORES: 26-26, 46-45, 67-62, 88-77
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