FEU fumbles rally to secure 6th place vs UE

FEU Advocate
November 05, 2023 10:11

By Andrei M. Barrantes

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws ill-timed in pulling off a comeback against University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 86-87, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 86 men’s basketball tournament today, November 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Both squads played physically on both sides of the ball, which resulted in low scoring and many fouls.

FEU senior forward Cholo Añonuevo returned to the lineup and the starting five after missing the last six games.

Añonuevo went down early in round one due to a right hand injury sustained in their matchup against UE.

“It’s good to be back. I missed playing with my teammates. Before that I just had to support them. Sayang lang 'yung game namin ngayon (It’s a shame that we lost today)Hopefully we learn from it and check what we have to work on as a team,” Añonuevo said after the game.

The back-and-forth affair ensued even after Morayta guard Patrick Sleat scored the quick floater to regain the lead. 

UE gunner Rey Remogat caught fire early scoring 16 first-half points and spraying four three-pointers.

Foul trouble proved beneficial to the green-and-gold squad as FEU ended the first half 36-32 behind four free throws from team captain LJay Gonzales and senior bigman James Tempra.

After the halftime break, FEU had an abysmal start to the third quarter losing the lead and four straight misses.

Green-and-gold gunner Xyrus Torres got it going with two straight triples to gain the lead, 46-43.

In the fourth, Añonuevo had first draw, acing the and-one drive to the basket.

Gonzales collided with UE big Precious Momowei on a rebound and was subbed out for the remainder of the quarter.

With 48 seconds left, Xyrus Torres drained a wide open three-pointer to tie the game.

Without Gonzales, their usual closer, FEU failed to get a shot off in two straight possessions, resulting in overtime.

In the bonus period, FEU struggled to defend quick cuts to the basket and trailed by as much as eight points.

The Tamaraws were shut down in second chance points as the Red Warriors controlled the boards.

With under 20 seconds left at 77-87, Morayta sharpshooter Jorick Bautista drilled three straight triples.

Despite the absurd rally by Bautista, UE had the final possession with 1.5 seconds left. FEU failed to foul for possession, losing the game with 86-87.

After the game, Gonzales, who played through a fever, expressed his regret for how the game turned out.

Ganun talaga eh, Basketball eh. Parang kinapos lang kami sa dulo and ayun nga, ang sama rin ng pakiramdam ko. Pinilit ko lang maglaro kasi walang maglalaro sa amin eh (That's just how basketball is. We just fell short at the end, and I wasn’t feeling good as well. I just played through it because we were short on players),” Gonzales said.

The green-and-gold team captain notched a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Añonuevo made a solid return with 10 points, seven boards, and five steals.

Bautista finished the game with 21 points and five triples, while Torres chipped in 12 points and three triples of his own.

Sleat also chipped in 11 points, marking five Tamaraws with double-digit points.

FEU sank to a 3-7 win-loss record and are on the brink of final four elimination ahead of their match against National University (NU) Bulldogs on November 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

(Photo by Karch Rafael/FEU Advocate)