The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws snapped their two game losing streak in the 2015 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup with an 80-68 win over the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons Saturday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Tamaraws blitzed the Soaring Falcons early in the first quarter of the game in gaining a 9-2 lead behind Cebuano upstart Monbert Arong. Arong either assisted or scored in FEU’s first nine points. However, foreign student-athlete Papi Sarr slowly chopped the FEU lead as no Tamaraw could defend him in the paint. Sarr scored ten of the team’s 19 first quarter points to take a five-point lead to end the quarter.
Things got worse for the Tamaraws in the second quarter as the line-ups coach Nash Racela assigned had a tough time feeling each other on offense. The Tamaraws continued to ride the hot hands of Arong to keep pace with the Soaring Falcons. On the other end, the squad from San Marcelino continued to use their size as Matthew Aquino and Sarr continued to pound the paint. The Falcons maintained their lead before halftime, 38-27.
In the second half, the Tamaraws turned the tides of the game by employing a hybrid defense that switched from a press or a trap to a zone in every Adamson possession. Moreover, the FEU offense picked up as Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy found their groove on offense. Almost everyone fielded by Racela scored in the second half as the team scored 32 third quarter points en route to a 53 points half. The team shot 57.5% (23/40) from the field in the second half compared to the team’s dismal 30% shooting from the first
On the defensive end, the local big men of FEU double teamed Sarr to force him into bad shots or turnovers. The defense employed by the Tamaraws squad forced Adamson to 15 second half turnovers that led to 13 turnover points. Rookie Jherome Garcia tried to keep the team afloat in the second half in scoring nine points, but the supporting cast struggled as the Tamaraws took their penultimate game in the elimination round of the tournament 80-68.
After the game, Coach Nash Racela told us that after going up 9-2 in the first quarter, his team took it easy on the Falcons. In addition, the team could not contain Papi Sarr as he bullied Prince Orizu in the paint. The FEU mentor had no other resort but to double team Sarr.
When asked about the huge rotation Racela utilizes in this tournament, the National team assistant coach told us that the 12 guys he will use for the UAAP is almost a lock. However, “the 13-16 guys are what we are looking at. The guys who could give us a good minute or two. We want guys who are willing to learn, develop, and give it their all in the limited minutes they will play.”
The FEU Tamaraws will next face the EAC Generals on Friday, June 5 at 1:30pm while the AdU Soaring Falcons play the JRU Heavy Bombers later in the day at 3:15pm.
FEU (80) – Arong 25, Tolomia 13, Pogoy 10, Belo 7, Escoto Ri 6, Iñigo 4, Jose 4, Trinidad 4, Holmqvist 3, Orizu 2, Tamsi 2, Ugsang 0, Bienes 0, Liwag 0, Dennison 0, Comboy 0, Denila 0, Roxas 0
AdU (68) – Sarr 21, Garcia 11, Nalos 8, Aquino 8, Gumtang 6, Polican 3, Baytan 3, Ng 2, Bernardo 2, Villanueva 2, Pedrosa 2, Barrera 0
|FEU (A, 4-3)||14||27||59||80|
|AdU (A, 2-5)||19||38||56||68|