Filoil: FEU survives UST scare, moves closer to quarterfinals
Far Eastern University got through by the skin of its teeth, holding off University of Santo Tomas, 86-82, in the group stage of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup Friday.
The Tamaraws moved closer to the quarterfinals after bumping their record to 5-1 in Group B while the Growling Tigers, who are experiencing a player exodus in the off-season, dropped to 1-5 in the tournament.
After leading 71-60 at the end of the third, the Tamaraws were then subjected to UST’s pressing and rapid-fire scoring.
The Growling Tigers managed to get to as close as 85-82 after CJ Cansino’s three-pointer with 38.3 seconds left.
“All pressing teams whether they’re undersized or undermanned will always remain competitive, and this UST team is no different,” said FEU head coach Olsen Racela. “Actually the whole game they were with us.”
UST never had a legitimate center to patrol the pain the whole tournament and instead relied on its quick guards and agile forwards to press and trap on defense.
“That’s what I told my team that you should never be complacent against a pressing team,” added Racela in Filipino.
The Growling Tigers had a chance to change the momentum of the game with 38.3 seconds left after FEU’s turnover but Richard Escoto swiped the ball away from Kenneth Zamora.
Escoto then iced the game from the free throw line for the Tamaraws.
Joseph Nunag put up a team-high 16 points to lead FEU while Escoto had 15 points and three steals.
Zach Huang led the Growling Tigers with 23 points while Cansino added 20 points, six rebounds, and two steals.