ANTIPOLO — Far Eastern University decimated De La Salle University, 81-60, to clinch solo fourth place on Saturday in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Ynares Center.
L-Jay Gonzales was magnificent all game long with his 14 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals to steer the Tamaraws to the victory.
Ken Tuffin also heated up from distance with a 4-of-6 clip. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds.
“We needed this win badly,” said coach Olsen Racela, since FEU evened its standing to 6-6.
There was a sense of urgency all around the Tamaraws. They started off hot with a 27-11 first quarter, then kept the pressure on the Green Archers, enjoying leads as high as 22 points in the second half.
It didn’t hurt that FEU shot a blistering 54-percent shooting from the field, while also dishing out 19 assists in the game.
“Our mentality was to treat this game as a do-or-die. Ganoon ang aming sense of urgency, to play possession-by-possession and not worry how well we did or how bad we did after one possession but move on to the next,” said Racela.
Wendell Comboy got 12 points, seven boards, and two assists, while Xyrus Torres buried three three-pointers to collect 11 points. Alec Stockton had seven points, five assists, and two rebounds.
It was a bitter defeat for La Salle, as it slid down to fifth with its 5-6 slate.
Justine Baltazar topped the Green Archers with 16 points, nine rebounds, and two assists in the losing cause.
FEU will next face the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Wednesday at 12:30 pm. La Salle, on the other hand, takes on the UST Growling Tigers on the same day at 4:00 pm.
FEU 81 — Gonzales 14, Tuffin 14, Comboy 12, Torres 11, Tchuente 8, Stockton 7, Ebona 6, Cani 5, Alforque 2, Tempra 2, Bayquin 0, Bienes 0, Dulatre 0, Mantua 0, Nunag 0.
DLSU 60 — Baltazar 16, Malonzo 13, Serrano 9, Melecio 7, Caracut 5, Manuel 3, Bartlett 2, Cu 2, Lim 2, Escandor 1, Bates 0, Hill 0, Lojera 0.
Quarterscores: 27-11, 40-29, 57-42, 81-60.