- November 18, 2019 18:07
By Joaquin Luis E. Quesada
Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws are back in the winning column after three straight defeats in a come from behind win against the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 59-57, in their second-round meeting in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 84 men’s basketball tournament, April 21 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
FEU turned up their defense in the fourth quarter as they were able to hold NU field goalless in the first nine minutes of the final frame. Bulldog’s Michael Malonzo gave NU a two-point lead after an and–1 with 37.7 seconds remaining.
FEU forced NU to a turnover and found Xyrus Torres at the right-wing, but he missed it. However, the Tamaraws were able to secure the offensive rebound before giving it back to Torres to swish the three with two ticks remaining in the game and the two-point lead, 59-57.
“We really needed this win kasi NU ‘yung hinahabol namin (because we are chasing NU). We did not give up, especially in the second half… It’s all about trust for us and [the] definition of our character in this game,” FEU Head Coach Olsen said after the win.
After an abysmal first half, in which FEU was down 22-33, the Morayta dribblers came out of the gate strong as they outscored the Jhocson-based squad in the second half, scoring 37 points, in contrast to NU’s 24.
“Siguro masyado kong binanggit sa kanila na itong game was so crucial, kaya nanggigil sila no’ng first half. Ayun ‘yung kinorrect namin in the second half, [and] dumikit kami in the second half (I think I exaggerated telling them that this game was so crucial, that’s why they were aggressive in the first half. That is what we corrected in the second half, and we got closer [to NU] in the second half),” Coach Olsen shared.
FEU’s reinforcement Emman Ojoula posted another double-double performance with 11 points and rebounds and five assists. The hero of the day, Torres, chipped in with 16 points but had a horrendous shooting performance with 5/13 from the field.
FEU is now tied with NU at the fourth seed, both sporting a 4-6 win-loss slate. Tamaraws’ next game will be against the bottom-seeded University of the East (UE) Red Warriors on April 23 at the same venue.
(Photo by Juan Pablo Parian/FEU Advocate)