Tamaraws fend off Maroons, 75-69
Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines — Coming through in the final two minutes of the game, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws subdued a surging University of the Philippines, 75-69, at the second round of the UAAP Seniors basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum Saturday afternoon.
FEU staged a 7-0 run to close out the game after UP held a momentarily lead at the two-minute mark.
Diego Dario nailed a three-pointer from the left corner to the tune of a raucous UP crowd to put the boards at 69-68.
Achie Iñigo responded with a banking three that put the Tamaraws ahead, 71-69, and started the close out rally of FEU.
Assistant coach Eric Gonzales, who relieved for head coach Nash Racela, said that he was not that happy with the win adding that there is still more to improve.
“Actually I’m not that happy with the game, there is something quite bothersome that we tend to relax when we face up against the lower-ranked players,” Gonzales said.
He also applauded the Fighting Maroons who, despite the loss, played gallantly against the top-seeded Tamaraws with a 9-2 slate.
“I’m very happy on how UP played, I salute them and I know that they are coming,” Gonzales said.
Tamaraw forward Mark Belo made it a two possession game for FEU, hitting a pull-up jumper from the elbow, 73-69.
Gonzales said that when he accompanied Racela, who went to Spain for the FIBA World Cup, he told the head coach that they should win four more games as an 11-win tally could put them on a tie with other teams.
“We want the top seed or the second seed, we want a twice-to-beat advantage,” Gonzales said. “I keep on reminding the players to treat every game as a stepping stone.”
Mike Tolomia, who fouled out late in the fourth, led the Tamaraw charge with 19 points while Belo had 14 and seven boards.
Spark plug Iñigo had a near double-double with eight points and 10 boards.
Rey Gallarza had 18 points for UP while shooting the lights out from rainbow country with a four-for-six clip.
Mikee Reyes added 14 with Dario contributing 10 points for the seventh seed UP with a 1-10 slate.
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