Far Eastern University did not want any complications heading into the next round of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Tamaraws made it happen on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, dominating Adamson University, 71-54.
With the win, the Morayta-based squad made sure it was going to be back in the Final Four with a 7-7 record. “Of course, natutuwa kami. I have to hand it to the players kasi they never gave up, never wavered sa kagustuhang mag-Final Four,” head coach Olsen Racela said.
With the win, they also effectively extinguished the playoff hopes of the University of the Philippines.
A loss would have forced FEU into a knockout bout for the fourth-seed up against the Fighting Maroons.
They weren’t going to let that happen, however, as each and every one of Racela’s boys were laser-focused.
It also didn’t hurt the Tamaraws’ chances that Jerrick Ahanmisi left the game in the second quarter due to an ankle sprain.
When the Soaring Falcons again came as close as 46-52 early in the final frame, they then lost Koko Pingoy also due to an ankle sprain.
FEU would only take advantage and rode a 19-8 run to close the contest.
No single player stood out, but Racela welcomed a total team effort fronted by Arvin Tolentino who had 14 points and five rebounds and Richard Escoto who had 11 markers and eight boards.
Prince Orizu also made his presence felt with a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double all while shutting down counterpart Papi Sarr who only had 10 points in 33 percent shooting.
The Tamaraws are back in the Final Four as the fourth-seed, but are yet to know who they’re facing. “Kahit ano, dadaan pa rin naman kami sa butas ng karayom. Ang iniisip ko is more than yung kalaban namin, sarili namin,” Racela said.
The same goes for Adamson which was locked into the third-seed no matter what happened in this one.
They had nothing to play for in this game and ended the elimination round with a 9-5 record.
FEU 71 – Tolentino 14, Escoto 11, Orizu 10, Parker 9, Comboy 9, Inigo 7, Cani 5, Trinidad 2, Ebona 2, Bayquin 2, Dennison 0, Tuffin 0
ADAMSON 54 – Manalang 15, Sarr 10, Camacho 7, Lojera 4, Ochea 4, Bernardo 4, Espeleta 3, Pingoy 3, Hill 2, Ahanmisi 2, Paranada 0, Manganti 0, Zaldivar 0
QUARTER SCORES: 19-17, 35-32, 52-44, 71-54
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.
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