- January 17, 2024 16:43
Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws blew a 14-point lead to University Of the East (UE) Red Warriors in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men's basketball tournament, earlier today, October 7, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Morayta cagers went for a good start by leading the skid in the game's first quarter.
Tamaraw big-man Mo Faty exerted his dominance early by grabbing boards and scoring four of his 12 points, 20-16.
The Green-and-Gold squad began to struggle in leading the skid after Red Warriors obtained a late game leaving FEU scoreless for almost three minutes of the second half of the match, 58-65.
Heading to the last quarter, FEU ran into a hitch at 50-40 and slowly lost their lead, capped off by a Jack Cruz-Dumont three-pointer giving the Red Warriors their first lead.
FEU continued to struggle late in the fourth and ended the quarter on the wrong side of an 8-17 run.
Despite his struggles beyond the arc, team captain LJay Gonzales scored 16 points and hustled out multiple steals to anchor the defense in the green-and-gold side.
In a post-game interview with FEU Advocate, Gonzales expressed what they lacked after UE bounced back during the last quarter.
“Sa amin kasi nung last quarter, ‘di lang kami naka-shoot—naka-execute naman pero ‘di lang talaga pumasok 'yung mga bola namin. Kailangan lang siguro namin maging positive palagi sa ginagawa namin and kailangan din siguro namin mag-double effort sa mga late game (In the last quarter, we didn't just shoot—we executed, but our balls didn't really go in. Maybe we just need to always be positive in what we do and maybe we need to double effort in the late games),” he said.
Though the FEU starters contributed plenty, the bench struggled mightily, chipping in just nine points to the UE bench’s 30.
FEU head coach Denok Miranda also added his feedback on how the team got pressured in the last half of the game.
“Ayun, wala, ‘di kami maka-shoot, ‘yun lang ‘di kami maka-shoot tapos ang mabigat ‘dun, ‘di rin kami maka-defense. So, siguro may samahan na frustration din sa mga player, ayun, na out of focus din (Well, we can't shoot, it's just that we can't shoot and then the heavy part is, we can't defend either. So, maybe there was also a sense of frustration among the players, well, they were also out of focus),” he stated.
Gonzales led the pack with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds while Faty chipped in 12 points and seven boards. Another green-and-gold gunner Jorick Bautista added 11 markers in three triples.
The Denok Miranda-led squad remains winless with a 0-3 win-loss record and will try their chances against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on October 11, at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
- Paula Jasmine P. Bronoza
(Photo by Justine Jaerigg/FEU Advocate)