Tamaraws claw back from 13 down to stun Green ArchersBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern University clawed back from 13 points down to stun La Salle, 83-79, in overtime Saturday in the UAAP season 76 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws went on a furious 15-2 run in the last two minutes — turning a 60-73 deficit to a tied game at 75 at the end of regulation — before taking advantage of the Green Archers’ dry spell in OT.
Terrence Romeo hit the 25-point mark, also canning two triples to spark the pivotal comeback, while RR Garcia had 19 points — 12 in the fourth and OT, along with five rebounds and three assists.
“When were down 13 with 2 and half minutes left, and I just challenged my boys. And they stepped up and adjusted,” said head coach Nash Racela.
Mac Belo had half of his 10 points in the last minute and half, scoring the OT-forging bucket with 14.3 seconds left, while also pulling down 13 rebounds.
Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy had nine points each for FEU, which kept its pristine record at 4-0 and the only undefeated team thus far this season.
“We’re not trying to think about that now. We just look forward to the next game,” also said Racela, who has transformed the Tamaraws into contenders in only his first year with the team.
The Green Archers dropped to 2-2, after abruptly losing stream down the stretch despite leading by as many as 13.
“La Salle had a very good game plan. They knew what we were going to do. It took us a while before we were able to adjust,” Racela said.
Jeron Teng had a season high 25-points for the Green Archers, but only had two points in the last 15 minutes of the game, shooting miserably from the stripe (3/11). He also had 15 boards.
To sum up his free throw shooting woes, the Green Archers were down three with 22.4 seconds left in OT when Teng had four straight charity attempts but only converted one.
Arnold Van Opstal shared 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Jason Perkins had 10 and 13.
Originally posted at 7:16 p.m.