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Discouraged Tolomia on UST loss: ‘Mas gusto nila’

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After the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws’ loss against the surging University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, everyone in the stands, particularly the green-and-gold faithful, were shocked and disappointed with their team’s 85-76 defeat.

And one of the most frustrated among the Tamaraw horde is ace guard Mike Tolomia.

Tolomia cannot be blamed for being discouraged after the bout, as he himself witnessed how his squad allowed UST to come back from a 30-19 deficit in the opening frame to snatch the nine-point, 85-76 victory.

The loss allowed the España-based cagers to sweep the Tamaraws, 0-2, in both their eliminations meetings. Their first round affair ended with a much closer score of 72-71.

Tolomia said UST showed more hunger and desire in grabbing the win, and admitted that the Tamaraws had lapses in protecting and sustaining their 36-22 lead with 8:22 in the second frame.

“Mas gusto nila,” said Tolomia, when asked what his honest thoughts were about the game. “Mas gusto talaga nilang manalo ngayon. Nung una kasi lumamang na kami ng malaki sa kanila, so parang nag-relax kami. Siguro ayun yung naging dahilan.”

“Nung nakabalik na sila at tumaas ang kumpiyansa nila, ayun, hindi na kami nakasabay,” Tolomia stressed, regarding the offensive tenacity of UST. The Growling Tigers established their biggest lead of the game, 78-65, in the 6:34 mark of the final quarter.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Discouraged Tolomia on UST loss: ‘Mas gusto nila’
The former Youth Olympian also pointed out that his team fumbled in defensive execution, which cost FEU the much-needed victory, since a win versus UST could have solidified their twice-to-beat advantage come the Final Four.

“Yung defense talaga,” said Tolomia, when asked what FEU lacked down the stretch. “Kasi dun naman talaga kami lumamang nung first half eh, and hindi kami naging successful du’n nu’ng second half,” he added.

Their defensive breakdown was evident in the second half when FEU, from a 57-all knot in the third quarter, allowed UST to unleash a 12-2 scoring rampage behind Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag, Mario Bonleon, and Karim Abdul to get ahead, 69-59, heading into the fourth.

But FEU struggled not just in defense, as the team gave up the ball plenty in committing 22 turnovers, a far cry from UST’s nine. The green-and-gold squad also gave up 28 fouls, which helped UST shoot 25/34 (73.53%) from the stripe.

Now that the match is said and done, FEU’s focus turns to last year’s tormentors, the National University Bulldogs, whom they will face on Saturday, November 14, 4:00 PM, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Alam naman natin na magaling talaga sila sa defense, so sasabayan lang namin sila sa depensa rin namin. Mas gagalingan namin, kasi kailangan na kailangan na naming manalo,” said Tolomia.

A victory by the Tamaraws over the defending champions will help them lock their status as the tournament’s top seed.

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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