FAR Eastern University coach Nash Racela demanded consistency from his team. And so Terrence Romeo led the Tamaraws in showing that they are, indeed, consistently good.
Romeo buried a season-high 26 points as the Tamaraws nipped Adamson, 74-71, yesterday to complete a seven-game sweep of the first round in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Everytime we go and play any team, we know it’s going to be hard,” said Racela. “That’s why we keep reminding them never to think they’re better than the other team so that we’ll always be on our toes.”
Romeo showed again why he is this season’s top gun as the senior guard drilled the Tamaraws’ last eight points to protect their slim lead against the hard-fighting Falcons.
National University also wrapped up its first-round campaign with a victory over La Salle, 63-56, to stay in the upper half of the team standings at 4-3.
Ray Parks fired 20 points, eight in a pivotal 14-2 run at the start of the fourth period that gave the Bulldogs a 13-point lead, 57-44, which turned out to be enough cushion against the Archers’ late rally.
“I’m really proud of the boys. We played intelligent basketball and executed the game plan very well,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “We were coming off two straight losses but I saw the team play together.”
Parks, the MVP in the last two seasons, also had 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals, while Emmanuel Mbe (12 points and six rebounds) and Dennice Villamor (10 points and 10 rebounds) led the Bulldogs’ strong game at the paint.
Jericho Cruz shot 21 to pace the Falcons, who wound up tied with the Archers and Eagles at 3-4.
The Tamaraws last completed a first-round sweep in the 2010 season, when they reached the finals but lost the title series to Ateneo.
Romeo, who finished just a point shy of his career-high, knocked in a clutch triple with 24.6 seconds left after the Falcons had threatened at 71-69 after a Roider Cabrera trey.
FEU 74—Romeo 26, Pogoy 9, Garcia 9, Belo 9. Tolomia 8, Hargrove 4, Mendoza 3, Sentcheu 2, Jose 2, Cruz 2, Iñigo 0.
ADAMSON 71—Cruz 21, Sewa 13, Brondial 13, Trollano 5, Julkipli 5, Agustin 4, Abrigo 4, Petilos 3, Cabrera 3, Rios 0, Monteclaro 0, Iñigo 0.
Quarters: 20-13, 36-37, 54-56, 74-71
NU 63—Parks 20, Mbe 12, Villamor 10, Alolino 9, Neypes 6, Rosario 4, Alejandro 2, Roño 0, Perez 0, Khobuntin 0, Javillonar 0, Javellona 0.
LA SALLE 56—Van Opstal 14, Vosotros 11, Teng 9, T. Torres 7, Perkins 6, Salem 5, N. Torres 2, Revilla 2, Tampus 0, Dela Paz 0.
Quarters: 20-9, 33-25, 43-42, 63-56