UAAP: FEU slips past Ateneo in OT for first win | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: FEU slips past Ateneo in OT for first win

/ 05:16 PM October 14, 2023

L-Jay Gonzales FEU UAAP

FEU’s L-Jay Gonzales.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — L-jay Gonzales hit the big shots in overtime as Far Eastern University toppled defending champion Ateneo, 66-61, in overtime in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Tied at 59-all in OT with both teams struggling to score, Gonzales came through with back-to-back stepback jumpers to give the Tamaraws a 63-59 cushion with 35.2 seconds to go.

“I trust myself that I can shoot the ball because coach Denok (Miranda) also trusts me. I didn’t think about anything but to shoot the mall because coach reminded us that we have to make our shots during [crucial] possessions,” said Gonzales in Filipino.

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Xyrus Torres then sank two free throws for a 65-59 lead with 23.5 ticks left to put the game away for good after the Blue Eagles forced extra session after going on an 18-3 surge late in the fourth quarter.

Xyrus Torres L-Jay Gonzales FEU UAAP

FEU’s Xyrus Torres and L-Jay Gonzales.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Gonzales finished with 21 points and seven rebounds as the Tamaraws claimed their first victory after four straight losses to start the season. It was also FEU’s first win over Ateneo in five years, halting an eight-game skid against the Blue Eagles.

First-year FEU coach Denok Miranda was relieved after his team managed to bounce back from a tough overtime loss to University of the Philippines last Wednesday.

“This season, I learned a lot from my players, especially during our tough losses, which we knew that we were bound to win. It was a total team effort. We didn’t give up and keep going back to the drawing board,” said Miranda in Filipino.

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FEU blew a 52-37 advantage with Chris Koon’s clutch free throws forcing OT with both teams knotted at 57 with 31.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

Torres added 13 points for the Tamaraws while Patrick Sleat had nine points and seven rebounds.

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Ateneo, who drew 18 points from Jared Brown, dropped to 2-3. Ian Espinosa and Chris Koon added eight each.

The Blue Eagles missed the services of Sean Quitevis, who was under the weather.

The Scores:

FEU (66) – Gonzales 21, Torres 13, Sleat 9, Tempra 8, Alforque 4, Bagunu 4, Competente 4, Ona 2, Faty 1, Bautista 0, Buenaventura 0, Montemayor 0, Felipe 0.

Ateneo (61) – Brown 18, Ballungay 12, Espinosa 8, Koon 8, Nieto 3, Credo 2, Obasa 2, Gomez 2, Bongo 2, Lazaro 2, Amos 2, Chiu 0, Tuano 0.

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Quarterscores: 13-11, 30-26, 45-37, 57-57, 66-61

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, FEU Tamaraws, L-Jay Gonzales, UAAP Season 86

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