MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern University shook off a rough start, showed its lethal form and then blasted University of the East, 89-78, Saturday in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament.
The Tamaraws, perceived as underdogs this season, erased an 11-point deficit in the first half behind Terrence Romeo’s electrifying third quarter burst.
But that wasn’t limited to just the buckets although the explosive guard had 23 big points and 11 assists in the third quarter alone. He finished the game with a total of 12 assists, dishing out on-point crosscourt passes to teammates.
“My hard work every practice paid off. And like I said before, it’s a different Terrence they will see,” said Romeo.
By the end of the third quarter, FEU’s lead neared double-digits and then RR Garcia and Romeo showed why they’re one of the most lethal back court duo in the league.
Romeo nailed a swift baseline jumper and then completed three freethrows before Garcia nailed back-to-back triples to stretch the lead to 80-66 with 3:58 left. The Tamaraws led by as many as 15.
“We just reminded the boys to be patient with what they’re doing. UE was playing their game but we were only down by 5. That what we told the players,” said head coach Nash Racela.
The Red Warriors, the pre-season kings, pulled within nine on freethrows by Roi Sumang with two minutes to play but that run was quickly doused by four straight points from FEU.
UE had a slight edge on rebounds but got beat badly on the assists department as the Red Warriors only had 11 — one less than Romeo’s total output.
Guard Sumang churned out a team-best 22 points, with five rebounds, three assists and three steals.