FEU-Diliman rallies to beat Adamson, nears UAAP juniors basketball title
MANILA, Philippines–Far Eastern University-Diliman rallied from 11 points down to beat Adamson, 85-74, and move on the cusp of annexing the UAAP Season 85 juniors basketball crown Tuesday at Filoil EcoOil Centre.
It was the first time that the Baby Tamaraws, who are eyeing their first title since UAAP Season 79, beat the Baby Falcons in three meetings this year.
Trailing by 11 points in the first half, the Baby Tamaraws held the Baby Falcons to only nine field goals in the last two periods to claim the series opener.
VJ Pre’s lay-up off a John Rey Pasaol assist put FEU-Diliman ahead at 58-57 with 1:21 in the third period.
The Baby Tamaraws continued to roll with Kirby Mongcopa’s triple giving the Baby Tamaraws a 69-59 lead with 6:29 left and never looking back.
“We didn’t play like we were in the playoffs at the beginning. That’s what I reminded them during half time, that we need to play like we’re in the playoffs,” said FEU-Diliman coach Allan Albano in Filipino.
“It’s a good thing they were able to respond in the second half. But I was still not satisfied with the win. They didn’t play like they were in a championship game. They were lacking intensity.”
Mongcopa had a 20-point, 20-point outing to go along with eight assists for the Baby Tamaraws, who are bracing for a fightback from Adamson in Game 2 set on Friday.
“We’re not content with this win. We need to find a way to end this and win the title next game,” said Mongcopa.
Luke Felipe had 14 points, five boards and two steals whilee Pasaol and Jedric Daa each had 13 points. Dwyne Miranda chipped in 10 points, eight boards, and two assists for FEU-Diliman. Pre grabbed 10 rebounds
Peter Rosillo led the Baby Falcons with 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists while Carlo Bonzalida, who had a no-relief job in the second half, had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
“Hats off to FEU, they played well in the second half. We only played good in the first half. I told them at half time, nobody wins a game in the first half. I don’t know what happened after we went out of the dugout,” said Baby Falcons head coach Mike Fermin, who is looking to end Adamson’s 30-year title drought.
“Hopefully by Game Two, we can turn things around.”
FEU-D (85) — Mongcopa 20, Felipe 14, Pasaol 13, Daa 13, Miranda 10, Pre 8, Cabonilas 7, Salangsang 0, Bautista 0, Pascual 0.
AdU (74) — Rosillo 19, Bonzalida 18, Reyes 15, Edding 9, Medina 6, Abayon 3, Garcia 2, Mepaña 2, Sajili 0.
Quarterscores: 25-23, 39-50, 60-59, 85-74.