MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas aims to strengthen its hold of the second spot as Far Eastern University slipped to third Friday following the UAAP board’s decision to nullify the Tamaraws’ 77-75 win over National U in the men’s basketball tournament.
The board overturned commissioner Ato Badolato’s decision to uphold the Tamaraws’ victory, noting that the video evidence on the buzzer-beating layup of FEU’s RR Garcia was “inconclusive and unclear.”
A replay of the game has been ordered on Sept. 23.
The decision pushed UST to solo second (8-3) and the Tigers vie to boost their Final Four bid versus the University of the Philippines at 2 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws, who slipped to 7-3, battle resurgent University of the East in the 4 p.m. match that’s crucial in their bid to stay within striking distance of the top two.
The Board unanimously granted NU’s appeal yesterday, which came two days after Badolato ruled that Garcia’s basket beat the buzzer with just a tenth of a second left.
“[The] pieces of evidences/statements/video used in the deliberation were inconclusive and unclear and most of the points brought up showed that time had expired before the ball was fully released,” Henry Atayde, a member of the league technical committee, said in a statement yesterday.
FEU coach Bert Flores said his will focus on a confident UE squad that just pulled off a monumental upset over four-time champion Ateneo before worrying about the rematch.
“We have to stay positive,” said Flores. “Coach Boycie (Zamar) hasn’t been with his team for a month, but his players are responding well. He’s a good coach, he scouts well.”
But the Tamaraws will have to do without bruiser Arvie Bringas, who’s serving a suspension due to a spitting incident.
The Tigers, meanwhile, hope to make the most out of their lucky break as UST coach Pido Jarencio noted how his team has been struggling in the second round.
“We’re a bit shaky,” Jarencio said of his Tigers, who just won half of their four assignments in the second round.
“We have to improve on the fluidity of our offense and there are also other problems we have to fix.”