Tuffin delivers in OT to avert total FEU collapse
MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University had a disaster of a fourth quarter against University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament before Ken Tuffin came through in overtime.
Tuffin scored five of FEU’s 13 points in OT to lift the Tamaraws over the Fighting Maroons, 82-79, Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena. Tuffin’s big baskets came after the Tamaraws went cold in the final six minutes of regulation.
“We just stay composed, because the crowd was crazy and you know all the factors were in there like but we just focused on one possession at a time,” said Tuffin. “If we play good defense it gives you a chance to win in the end.”
Tuffin scored his first basket in overtime when he converted a transition layup off a feed from L-Jay Gonzales that gave the Tamaraws a 74-69 cushion with 2:58 left.
UP tied the game again at 77 thanks to Bright Akhuetie with a minute to play but Tuffin quickly answered back with a go-ahead 3-pointer off another assist from Gonzales with 57.2 seconds to play.
“Credit goes to L-Jay for finding me on transition because our offense is designed to get open shots so it was a combination of him finding me and me getting to the right spot,” said Tuffin, who led FEU’s offense with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. “It was a team effort today.”
The win bumped FEU’s record to 4-4 to join University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle in a three-way in third seed, and Tuffin said they have to remain consistent for their Final Four hopes.
“Every game is different, requiring different defensive schemes, different matchups,” said Tuffin. “We’ll see what we can improve on most and just prepare.”