FEU gains share of 4th, clips NU
Far Eastern University won’t back down from the heated Final Four race after putting down National University, 79-74, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws swept their season series with the Bulldogs and tied University of the Philippines in fourth with identical 7-6 records.
This was also FEU’s second straight win in the second round after going on a four-game skid.
From a tit-for-tat opening quarter, the Tamaraws unleashed its might in the second going on a 19-4 run to take a 40-26 lead off of Arvin Tolentino’s layup with 2:40 left in the first half.
It wasn’t an all-game cruise for the Tamaraws, however, as John Lloyd Clemente lit up and scored 21 points in the third quarter alone to close the distance at 69-61 with FEU trying desperately to hold off any advancements.
Kenneth Tuffin gave the Tamaraws a 78-65 lead midway through the fourth quarter with a fast break dunk after taking Troy Rike’s errant pass.
NU, though, battled back with a 7-0 run to trim the lead to 78-72 and the Bulldogs actually had a chance to further cut it to just three points with less than half a minute left but Rike once again threw a terrible pass that led to another Bulldog turnover.
FEU head coach Olsen Racela said they’re still not done with their season and the team knows they still have to win its remaining game to strengthen their bid for the Final Four.
“We’re going all out for the win, whatever happens to the other teams’ games we’re going for our own win,” said Racela. “We need one more hopefully we can get one more.”
Tolentino led FEU’s offense with 16 points, all in the first half, with six rebounds and one block while Tuffin put up 15 points, five rebounds, and two steals.
Clemente finished with 38 points and that mark is the most for any player in the league this season.
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