FEU fends off DLSU in Season Opener

FEU Advocate
September 09, 2018 12:02

By Ohmer R. Bautista

Far Eastern University (FEU) Men’s Basketball Team opened their season campaign on a high note as they evaded the arrows of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 68-61, in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 earlier today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Tamaraws, who lost to the Archers in their opening game affair last season, finally got one over their Taft-based rivals to tally a 1-0 start.

Moreover, according to FEU head coach Olsen Racela, their season-ending loss delivered by Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles in the very same arena added to the much-needed fuel of the team.

"Mahirap talaga kalaban 'yung La Salle. 'Yung first game [namin last year], tinambakan kami. So, I like our first game (La Salle is a very tough opponent. During our first game last year against them, we got drubbed. So, I like our first game)," Racela beamed.

He then furthered, "The last time I was here, 'di maganda ‘yung resulta, 'yung Final Four loss namin. [Kaya] iba 'yung pakiramdam namin [this game] (The last time I was here, the Final Four loss was the sour result. That's why it’s a different feeling this game)."

Down by only a solitary point at halftime, 25-26, the green-and-gold cagers suddenly saw their small deficit turn into a 7-point hole after a 15-9 headstart from the Archers. But FEU remained unfazed as they uncorked a 14 to seven spurt — sparked by a Hubert Cani triple and capped by a buzzer-beating trey from Axel Iñigo — to take things back to square-one, 48-all.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the final stanza as both teams exchange for a share of lead. However, down 55-56 with 3:14 minutes left in regulation, FEU suddenly caught fire.

Ken Tuffin and Arvin Tolentino fired consecutive triples, respectively, to lift FEU by two, 58-56; before a 4-0 spree — sealed by a shot-clock-beating jumper from Cani — extinguished the hopes for an Archers’ comeback.

All but one player logged in a point for FEU, with Tolentino leading the charge with 13 points to go along four blocks, a steal, and a block. Tuffin and Iñigo added 11 and 10 markers, respectively, with the former shooting 50 percent from the field.

On the opposing team, Santi Santillan delivered a double-double performance with 19 points and 10 boards that went down the drain.

The Tamaraws' next assignment is the Aldin Ayo-mentored University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.