The fourth-seeded Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws posted the tournament’s biggest upset after outlasting the number one team in Group A, the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions, 73-68, in the quarterfinals of the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, Wednesday afternoon at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Both teams started well in the first quarter, both relying on their well-balanced attacks on both ends of the floor. It was a close affair all through out, until FEU, with Raymar Jose providing the offense inside through lay-ups and teardrops, closed out the opening frame with a 20-17 lead.
CEU were behind 26-25 in the 5:10 mark of the second quarter, but failed to gain the upper hand as FEU, behind Jose, Mike Tolomia, Achie Inigo, and Monbert Arong, orchestrated a beastly 18-3 run to end the first half ahead by double-digits, 44-28. Furthermore, FEU only allowed CEU to score 11 points in the said quarter.
Through their beefed up offense inside the paint, the Scorpions gradually trimmed FEU’s lead in the third quarter, closing within nine, 55-46, with 3:35 to go, after a Mon Abundo lay-up. However, baskets from Arong, Francis Tamsi, and Wendell Comboy helped the Tams to regain the lead, 61-46, to approach the final quarter with the advantage.
The Tamaraws sustained the lead, posting a huge, 72-56 lead with 4:59 to go in the fourth and final canto. However, CEU did not let FEU walk by easily, unfurling a furious 12-1 run sparked by an Oneal Arim triple to inch within five, 73-68, with less than thirty seconds left. The Scorpions had good chances to close even further, but their three-point shots missed their target, paving the way for FEU towards the semis with a five-point margin.
“We just played our game, and that is through hard work,” said FEU Assistant Coach Eric Gonzales, who took place of Head Coach Nash Racela, who is currently working alongside Tab Baldwin in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, in their huge win against CEU.
Jose led FEU with 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Tolomia added 13 markers highlighted by three triples. Alfred Batino led the Scorpions with 12 points in the loss.
The Tamaraws will face the winner of the DLSU-UPHSD match-up which is schedules at 5:00pm today.
FEU 73 – Jose 16, Tolomia 13, Arong 9, Inigo 7, Orizu 7, Pogoy 7, Comboy 6, Bienes 4, Dennison 2, Tamsi 2, Escoto 0, Trinidad 0, Liwag 0
CEU 68 – Batino 12, Abundo 10, De Leon 9, Ebondo 9, Casino 9, Celso 8, Arim 7, Vargas 3, Jeruta 1, Pagkatipunan 0, De Leon 0, Anuncacion 0, Opiso 0, Saber 0