The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws came back from behind to eke out an 86-84 overtime win against rival National University (NU) Bulldogs in the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Premier Cup at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
FEU, coming from a close 8-8 knot at the start of the first quarter, outscored the Bulldogs 13-6 behind the offense provided by Roger Pogoy, Prince Orizu, and Raymar Jose to end the opening frame in favor of the Tams, 21-14.
The following frame saw NU go on a scoring tear to trim the deficit to four, 32-28, with less than five minutes on the clock. Their offense started to click from then on, as the Bulldogs rallied behind Gelo Alolino, Rev Diputado, and Jayjay Alejandro with a 13-2 run to end the first half with NU ahead, 41-34.
It was all Bulldogs’ basketball in the third canto, when their seven-point lead turned into a huge fifteen-point advantage, 52-37, after a Jeoff Javillonar triple with less than five minutes in the quarter. FEU, meanwhile, trimmed the deficit to eight, 52-44, but that was the closest they could get, for NU scored a few more baskets to close out the third up by nine, 55-46.
Mark Belo opened up the fourth frame with seven straight points to trim NU’s lead, 57-53, nine minutes into the quarter. But NU provided answers for every FEU basket, coming back to post an eight-point lead, 69-61, after a three-point play from Alejandro with 3:03 left. FEU, not wanting a meltdown to happen, scored eight unanswered points behind the exploits of Mike Tolomia to draw a 69-all deadlock with 20.8 ticks on the clock.
Alolino was able to convert a three-point play, giving the Bulldogs a glimmer of hope in sealing the game, 72-69, with 4.8 seconds left. But, FEU, utilizing the remaining time left in the heated battle, went for Belo to send the game into an extra period. Belo obliged, as he drained a corner trey off an assist by Monbert Arong to tie it up, 72-all, with .5 left to send it into OT.
Tolomia starred in the opening moments of the extra period, pushing FEU ahead by four, 79-75, with 2:13 remaining. NU narrowed the gap, 79-77, after Alolino sank both of his charities. FEU regained the upper hand with less than minute to go, 84-80, after a Russel Escoto three-point play conversion, but NU once again tied the game 84-all after four points off free throws by Paolo Javelona and Seny Gaye, 9.4 ticks to go.
FEU maximized the time left, as they called for a timeout. Tolomia had the ball, sized up his defender, and launched a stepback three-pointer. The shot missed its target, but Escoto hauled down the ball and went off for a hook shot against a phalanx of NU defenders to give FEU the edge, 86-84, with .1 left, sealing the hard-fought win for the green-and-gold squad.
Belo, who sparked the Tams’ furious comeback, posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Tolomia also had 19, while Escoto, the team’s hero in OT, chipped in 11 markers. Alolino led all scorers with 24 points.
FEU will face the CSB Blazers on Wednesday, May 20, at 11:45 AM, while NU, suffering their first loss in four outings, will play against the AdU Soaring Falcons next Friday, May 22, at 5 PM.
FEU 86 – Belo 19, Tolomia 19, Escoto 11, Pogoy 9, Jose 6, Orizu 6, Holmqvist 4, Trinidad 3, Iñigo 2, Denila 2, Bienes 2, Roxas 2.
NU 84 – Alolino 24, Diputado 11, Celda 9, Gaye 8, Alejandro 8, Salim 8, Neypes 7, Javelona 4, Javillonar 3, Abatayo 2.
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