Far Eastern closes in on cage title doubleBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
FAR Eastern University inched closer to a double UAAP basketball title romp yesterday.
The Lady Tamaraws moved within a win of a perfect season while the Baby Tams survived a thriller to take a 1-0 lead in the juniors championship series yesterday at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Allana Lim fired all her 17 points in the second half as the Lady Tamaraws downed the La Salle Lady Archers, 64-56, and stretched their unbeaten run to a record 15 games in the women’s caging.
Roger Domingo was the hero in juniors action, nailing the game-winning triple with 11.8 seconds left to lift the Baby Tams past the defending champion National University Bullpups, 78-77, in the series opener.
The Baby Tams pulled it off minus Jerie Pingoy in the crucial stretch as the back-to-back MVP fouled out in the final minute after a team-high 16 points, four assists and five steals.
“It was a blessing in disguise because they (Bullpups) didn’t know who will take the shot,” said FEU coach Michael Oliver.
Joshua Aguilon fueled the Baby Tams’ rally from eight points down, 63-71, in the last three minutes by firing all but two of his 11 points in the final period.
The Bullpups fumbled their last play after Reggie Morido gave NU its final taste of the lead, 77-75.
Lim shot 10 of the Lady Tamaraws’ 21 points in the final quarter where they pulled away, 62-53.
Aside from setting the longest win run in league history, the Lady Tams moved a win from becoming the first team to complete a season sweep since the Final Four format was implemented in 1994.
“We’re so pressured because there are a lot of things that go into your head after the 14-0 [elimination sweep],” said FEU coach Allan Albano.
The Lady Tamaraws and the Baby Tams hope to lift FEU’s basketball campaign after its favored men’s team surprisingly missed out on the Final Four for the first time in five years.
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio may just get away with a warning following his outburst against the referees in Game 1 of the men’s basketball championship won by Ateneo, 83-78, last Saturday.
League commissioner Ato Badoloato is set to decide early this week if Jarencio’s cut-throat gestures and furious confrontation with the referees after the game will merit a sanction.
“He may get a warning but it will still depend on the board,” said Badolato. “There’s no decision yet.”
The Lady Tamaraws earned an outright title berth and a thrice-to-beat bonus as incentives for sweeping the eliminations.
Thus, the Lady Tamaraws only need to win twice while the Lady Archers must win three times to clinch the title.
First Game (Women)
FEU 64—Lim 17, Borja 13, Columna 12, Sambile 11, Gesalan 5, Soriano 2, Siat 2, Tanaman 2, Supnet 0.
LA SALLE 56—Piatos 15, Abaca 10, Viterbo 9, Wilson 7, Melendres 5, Santos 4, Garcia 4, Ong 2, Corcuera 0.
Quarters: 9-8, 18-21, 43-41, 64-56
Second Game (Jrs)
FEU 78—Pingoy 16, Lee Yu 12, Delfinado 11, R. Domingo 11, Aguilon 11, J. Domingo 8, Escoto 4, Completo 2, Belgica 2, Lumba 1, You 0, Palacio 0.
NU 77—Atangan 23, Morido 16, Cani 16, Busa 10, Battad 6, Lapiz 4, Canaynay 2, Mosqueda 0, Dela Cruz 0, Claveria 0, Cauilan 0, Castillo 0, Biteng 0, Banawan 0.
Quarters: 15-21, 40-31, 50-55, 78-77