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Seasoned Tamaraws whip young Falcons

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The Adamson University Soaring Falcons are coming off a high after an upset win over the De La Salle University Soaring Falcons.

The Far Eastern University Tamaraws, behind their veterans, sent the Soaring Falcons down in a masterful display, 82-69, to be one win away from clinching a twice-to-beat adavantage in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Final Four Wednesday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The upstart Falcons kept pace with the league-leaders in the first half of the game. Joseph Nalos was able to start the game hot in scoring six points while Kristian Bernardo and JD Tungcab combined for 14 of the first quarter points of Adamson. RR Pogoy, who started this game, led the Tamaraws though while Russel Escoto provided the inside work to give FEU a 23-18 lead to end the opening quarter.

In the second frame, Mike Tolomia, who has been experience a nagging injury, was kept on the floor by coach Nash Racela to get his conditioning going. The FEU gunslinger was able to extend the FEU lead together with fellow backcourtmate Achie Inigo. Moreover, the FEU defense was able to limit big man Pape Sarr, who had a monster double-double in their last outing, to just two points in the first half and forcing three turnovers on him. The Tamaraw lead grew to as much as ten to enter halftime 43-33.

The Tamaraw defense solidified in the in the third canto as the Falcons were limited to just four field goals in the quarter. On offense, the cagers from Recto displayed great ball movement that led to wide open shots. The crisp passing of FEU led to easy baskets for Escoto, Raymar Jose, Mac Belo, and Monbert Arong. The FEU lead grew to a game-high 17 points, 66-49, with 33 seconds to go in the quarter after a Belo triple.

Just like in their last game against the Green Archers, the San Marcelino cagers tried to stage a fourth quarter hijack. With FEU up 68-55 with 8:09 to go, Jerome Garcia was able to slash through the lane and convert on a three-pointer to cut the FEU lead. A basket by Bernardo and a putback of by rookie JD Tungcab continued the Adamson wave in decreasing the lead to just four, 68-64, with 6:11 left in regulation.

Sensing that the Falcons were about to flock on them, former Batang Gilas standout Richard Escoto converted on a jumper to halt the Adamson rally. This jumper sparked a game-breaking 12-0 run capped by a Raymar Jose putback off a Belo miss. The stiffling defense of the Tamaraws sealed the game for the league leaders, 82-69.

“We’re happy (with the win) but we are not satisfied,” player of the game Russell Escoto, who registered 13 points on 50% shooting and four boards, remarked about the victory. “Medyo kulang pa ang aggressivess namin kaya dikit pa ang mga laro namin,” he added to the approval of Nash Racela.

This was the same sentiment shared by Raymar Jose, who had an excellent outing with 12 points and seven boards. “Tulad ng sabi ni coach sa amin kanina, happy kami pero kulang pa rin sa defense.”

The FEU defense was able to limit Pape Sarr to just six attempts in the game. The foreign student-athlete was just able to score four points and grab eight boards. “We focused on Sarr for this game. We had four or five guys set to limit him,” Racela said.

Beisdes Jose and Escoto, Smart Elite ambassador Mac Belo chipped in ten markers on 4/16 shooting and was able to grab three boards, dish out three dimes, and was able to steal the ball twice.

Even in shooting just 37.18% from the field, the Tamaraws moved the ball well in assisting on 20 of their 21 made attempts. “Today we are making the extra passes, something that was lacking in our past few games,” Racela added.

With the win, the FEU Tamaraws (10-1) are just one win away from gaining a twice-to-beat advantage for the playoffs. They can accomplish this feat on Saturday, November 7 as they face the UST Growling Tigers at 4:00pm. On the same day, the Adamson Soaring Falcons (2-10) face the UE Red Warriors at 2:00pm.

The Scores:
FEU (82) – Escoto Ru. 13, Jose 12, Belo 10, Pogoy 9, Tolomia 9, Arong 7, Inigo 7, Orizu 7, Escoto Ri. 4, Holmqvist K. 2, Trinidad 2, Comboy 0, Dennison 0, Ebona 0, Holmqvist S. 0, Tamsi 0.
ADU (69) – Garcia J. 16, Nalos 15, Bernardo 10, Tungcab 10, Polican 6, Sarr 4, Villanueva 3, Capote 2, Ochea 2, Garcia C. 1, Camacho 0, Escalambre 0, Fernandez 0, Margallo 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 43-33, 66-50, 82-69.

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