TERRENCE Romeo and RR Garcia struck hard again as Far Eastern University blasted University of Santo Tomas, 77-67, yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena to move within a win of a first-round sweep in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Romeo and Garcia teamed up for 36 points to power an in-form FEU side that came out sizzling anew with 11 three-pointers just four days after firing 15 triples against National University.
The Tamaraws had everything going for them in the second half where Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia also shone as FEU opened double-digit leads in the last six minutes of the match that drew a crowd of 15,000.
“I’ve been consistent in saying that going 6-0 is the same as being 1-0 because it doesn’t guarantee anything; those are just numbers,” said FEU coach Nash Racela after his Tamaraws—now at least three games ahead of the rest of the pack —stretched their unbeaten run to six.
Earlier, Kiefer Ravena played his best game yet as Ateneo downed University of the Philippines, 72-64, for its second victory in six games.
Sidelined by a sprained ankle early in the season, Ravena unloaded 10 of his 15 points in a strong second half where the Blue Eagles pulled away by as many as 19 points, 57-38.
“I think Kiefer is already 50 percent,” Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said of his star guard. “So you still have to watch out for the other 50 percent.”
Romeo pumped in 19 points while Garcia fired 17, 12 coming in the second period. He also dished out six assists.
The Tigers, who missed the services of Jeric Teng for the second straight game due to a shoulder injury, dropped to a share of second at 3-2.
Karim Abdul kept the Tigers within striking distance for the most part of the game to finish with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds, but clearly looked exhausted in the final stretch.
Ravena scored nine in the third period while taking over from Ryan Buenafe, who help carry the Eagles to a 38-30 halftime edge.
ATENEO 72—Ravena 15, Newsome 13, Buenafe 13, Tiongson 9, Golla 6, Pessumal 4, Erram 4, Elorde 4, Tolentino 2, Capacio 2, Murphy 0, Lim 0, Asistio 0.
UP 64—Marata 22, Ligad 10, Ball 10, Soyud 8, Lao 7, Desiderio 3, Wong 2, Asilum 2, Suarez 0, Pascual 0, Gingerich 0, Gallarza 0, Amar 0.
Quarters: 19-17, 38-30, 57-40, 72-64
FEU 77—Romeo 19, Garcia 17, Belo 14, Tolomia 12, Mendoza 6, Pogoy 5, Hargrove 2, Jose 1, Cruz 1, Sentcheu 0.
UST 67—Abdul 21, Ferrer 18, Bautista 15, Mariano 10, Lo 2, Daquioag 2, So 0, Pe 0, Lao 0.
Quarters: 18-21, 39-37, 62-56, 77-67