REGAINING his fiery form, Terrence Romeo erupted for a season-best 32 points as Far Eastern University drubbed Adamson, 92-80, yesterday to barge into the Final Four of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
Romeo got off to a sizzling start, dropping 19 points in the first two quarters before Mac Belo and RR Garcia starred in a strong finish that sent the Tamaraws to their ninth victory in 13 games
“We’re not relieved because we know our job isn’t over,” said coach Nash Racela after his Tamaraws joined National University (9-3) in the semifinals.
“Our initial goal was just to make it to the Final Four. It’s within our reach and all we had to do was get it. Today, we made a major step toward our eventual goal.”
Belo poured in 18 points, including seven straight to spark a 19-5 outburst that gave the Tamaraws an 18-point spread in the third period, 63-45, after a narrow 44-40 halftime lead.
Earlier, Aljon Mariano fueled a second-half breakaway as University of Santo Tomas roared to a 63-39 rout of a poor-shooting University of the Philippines.
Mariano finished with a double-double of 18 points, 12 coming in the second half, and 10 rebounds in the win that gave the Tigers solo fourth at 7-5.
“We still have a long way to go so we can’t relax,” coach Pido Jarencio said of his Tigers, who are tightly battling for the remaining two semifinal slots with La Salle, Ateneo and University of the East.
Romeo, one of only four players in the last 10 years to score multiple 30-point games in a season, also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists.
“I’ve been shooting badly in the last two games, so I really did some extra shooting in practice,” said Romeo, one of the leading MVP candidates this season.
UST 63—Mariano 18, Ferrer 12, Teng 9, Daquioag 9, Abdul 7, Bautista 3, Pe 2, Faundo 2, Lao 1, Tan 0, Sheriff 0, Lo 0, Hainga 0.
UP 39—Marata 12, Lao 6, Soyud 5, Ball 5, Wong 2, Suarez 2, Gallarza 2, Desiderio 2, Asilum 2, Harris 1, Pascual 0. Paras 0, Gingerich 0, Amar 0.
Quarters: 14-13, 23-20, 40-33, 63-39
FEU 92—Romeo 32, Belo 18, Garcia 14, Cruz 8, Mendoza 7, Tolomia 5, Sentcheu 2, Pogoy 2, Lee Yu 2, Jose 2, Iñigo 0, Luz 0, Dennison 0, Delfinado 0, Aguilon 0.
ADAMSON 80—Trollano 25, Cruz 13, Rios 11, Brondial 9, Iñigo 7, Sewa 6, Petilos 3, Cabrera 3, Cabigas 2, Monteclaro 1, Ochea 0, Julkipli 0, Agustin 0.
Quarters: 21-23, 44-40, 67-55, 92-80