FEU weathers NU storm for 4-2 mark
Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University withstood a late National University run to win, 71-62, in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Mike Tolomia and Mac Belo didn’t have their usual offensive production but Carl Cruz and Achie Iñigo were there to pick up the slack.
Cruz finished with 16 points while Iñigo had 14 points and three assists for the Tamaraws, who hiked their record to 4-2.
“The players knew how important the game was. That’s why in the beginning the focus was there and the effort was there,” said FEU coach Nash Racela after his team gave the Bulldogs just their second loss to wind up with a 5-2 record to end the first round of eliminations.
“I think he (Cruz) made the crucial plays. The thing with Bryan Cruz he’s one of our better defenders as a big man and he’s a stretch four. Anytime he plays that we have a chance at winning,” said Racela.
But it was his team’s collective effort that got Racela’s attention.
“I think it was more balanced. Belo and Tolomia didn’t score as much today. But it was the turn of the other players. Inigo hit the big shots also today,” Racela, whose squad blew a 22-point lead, said.
Gelo Alolino had 13 but had no assists to pace the Bulldogs, who failed to gain solo lead at the standings with the Ateneo Blue Eagles taking over the top spot at 5-1.
Tolomia had 10 points but shot just four-of-15 from the field while Belo scored nine on three-of-eight shooting.