Similar to their game against the Adamson Soaring Falcons, the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws utilized a second half surge in defeating the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals 69-64 to seal a quarterfinals berth in the 2015 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The first quarter was a low scoring affair with the Tamaraws struggling to find their groove on offense. After an early 6-2 FEU lead, EAC’s Sydney Onwubere was unstoppable as he scored the Generals’ first ten points, including two three pointers, to gain a 10-6 advantage. Spitfire point guard Reymond Pascua then took charge late in the quarter in scoring four points to give EAC a 15-10 lead.
FEU’s Cameroonian big man Prince Orizu tried to power FEU back in the game in scoring six points to cut the EAC lead to just two points 22-20. However, the EAC Generals ran away with an 11-0 run with Hamadou Laminou scoring seven points during the rally. The quarter ended with EAC still on top 35-25. The Tamaraws shot just 31% in the half and were committed 12 turnovers. It was an uncharacteristic performance by the Morayta-based squad.
Monbert Arong and Ron Dennison blitzed the EAC defense to slowly crawl back in the game. In addition, Reymar Jose anchored the FEU defense to limit EAC to just 13 points in the quarter. Arong started the third canto with hard penetrations that led to free throws and layups to cit the General lead to just seven points, 34-41, with 4:54 remaining. Then, Dennison took over the team’s offense with two straight floaters and an assist to Jose to cut the lead to just three points, 40-43. The game’s first deadlock occurred at the 1:08 mark after another floater by Dennison and converted freebies by Allen delos Santos. Laminou closed the quarter with a hook to put EAC up by just two points, 48-46, going into the fourth.
The Tamaraws made a quick 8-0 run to open the fourth quarter to gain a 54-48 lead. Nifty passes by Mike Tolomia and Achie Iñigo to an open Jose increased the FEU lead to seven points with 4:35 remaining. Arong then sealed the game with free throws to give FEU a 69-64 lead.
After the game, coach Nash Racela told the members of the press that the improvement in Raymar Jose’s game is a credit to his dedication to work hard. “He will be a big asset to us in the UAAP season. Kita naman ‘yun last year when he defended the likes of [Arnold] Van Opstal and [Charles] Mammie,” Coach Racela told us. “Sana lang makuha niya confidence niya on offense.”
Arong and Dennison led the Tamaraws with 12 points each. Reymar Jose was announced as the Player of The Game with nine points and 12 rebounds. On the other end, Laminou led all players with 23 points on 7/13 shooting. Sydney Onwubere grabbed a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, the FEU Tamaraws sealed a quarterfinals berth. Even if NU defeats UPHSD, that would result in a tie in the standings, the Tamaraws hold the tiebreaker advantage by virtue of FEU’s win over NU.
FEU 69 – Arong 12, Dennison 12, Jose 9, Orizu 9, Bienes 8, Comboy 5, Trinidad, 4, Tolomia 3, Pogoy 2, Delos Santos 2, Denila 2, Ugsang 1, Iñigo 0, Holmqvist 0, Roxas 0, Tamsi 0
EAC 64 – Laminou 23, Onwubere 19, Pascua 9, Pascual 4, General 3, Morada 3, Corilla 2, Mbang 1, Estacio 0, Mejos 0
|FEU (A, 5-3)||10||25||46||69|
|EAC (A, 1-7)||15||35||48||64|