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Seniors lead FEU in demolishing Ateneo

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Branded as this year’s favorites in this new season, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws opened their campaign with a strong 88-64 dismantling over the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles to cap off the UAAP’s first weekend at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

Mike Tolomia was aggressive in the start of the match by attacking Jerie Pingoy’s defense as he was the one who initiated FEU’s early offense. Ateneo led for a brief 7-4 score with a Kiefer Ravena three but was quickly erased by FEU’s 7-0 counter. As Tolomia was assessed with his second foul in the quarter, Roger Pogoy continued the scoring load as he fired ten points in the quarter. Ateneo struggled with their shot selection as they ended the first canto down already by double digits.

Mac Belo opened up the second quarter with a good block on one end while slamming one in on their side. Suddenly, FEU found themselves up by 28-16 as they also switched well on players in terms of defense. Despite Tolomia picking up another personal foul and Ateneo making a mini 8-0 rally in the middle of the quarter, Pogoy’s reinsertion enabled FEU to slave off the run with a triple. Ateneo went crashing offensive boards too but failed to capitalize on second chances. The Tamaraws threatened to pull away for good in the last part of the first half as their strong first two quarters was capped by a buzzer beating triple by Mac Belo.

As the Tamaraws aimed to hang on to their seemingly-comfortable advantage, they heavily relied on constant ball and player movement while extra passes aided them for better looks at the rim.

Kiefer Ravena started to heat up in the third as he ended up scoring 14 in the quarter. However, the graduating star had minimal help from his teammates as some went cold from the perimeter. Meanwhile, Ron Dennion made a floater to make it a 53-33 advantage as all were clicking for the Tamaraws at that point. They entered the last period up by 15 but still looking good against the Katipunan-based team.

Belo and Pogoy scored five straight points in the first minute of the fourth to further increase their hold against the Blue Eagles. The run served to be the nail in the coffin as Ateneo had a hard time piling up the points necessary for a comeback. With FEU continuing to distribute the ball, simple plays led them in finishing the
game against Ateneo in a dominating fashion.

“The design of these plays is for these (three) players’ decision.” says Coach Nash when asked about the number of attempts the team had from three-point territory. The big win also came from motivation from last year’s finish as Pogoy mentioned “Motivation ko this year is bounce back talaga kung anong nangyari samin nung finals. One win na lang kasi yun last year(from championship)”

FEU outscored ADMU in all four quarters and had more assists, 17-11. The Tamaraws shot 51% compared to the Eagles’ 31%. The big margin they had also translated from dominating the inside, 42-20 and more boards, 46-40.

Pogoy topped the Tamaraws with 19pts including four three pointers. Tolomia added 17 markers, eight boards and six assists. On the other end, Ravena ended with 25 points on 7/18 shooting from the floor.

FEU joins La Salle, UP and UST as winners of the opening weekend of the UAAP. They will next face UST, 4pm at Araneta while Ateneo looks for its first win against Adamson, 2pm on Satuday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:
FEU (88) – Pogoy 19, Tolomia 17, Belo 16, Jose 16, Escoto 6, Inigo 5, Arong 5, Dennison 4, Orizu 0, Escoto 0, Trinidad 0, Holmqvist 0, Tamsi 0
ADMU (64) – Ravena 25, Capacio 14, Pessumal 9, Gotladera 6, Wong 4, Ikeh 2, Tolentino 2, Cani 2, Pingoy 0, Nieto 0, Tolentino 0, Nieto 0, Babilonia 0
Quarterscores: 23-11, 44-26, 64-49, 88-64

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