FEU regains form over UP’s comeback in OT thriller

FEU Advocate
October 07, 2019 06:00

By Joaquin Luis E. Quesada

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws avenged their first-round loss against University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons with an overtime victory, 82-79, in the 82nd season of University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tourney, October 6 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

FEU skipper Kenneth Tuffin led the Tamaraws with 18 markers on a 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. He was backed up by L-Jay Gonzales with a career-high performance of 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while promising rookie Xyrus Torres had a total of 12 points.

The Tamaraws started the game with a 16-5 scoring run after Wendell Comboy made a tough lay-up, but the Maroons answered quickly with a 2-12 scoring run, ending the first frame at 18-17.

UP’s Javi Gomez de Liaño tiptoed the basket to give them their first lead of the game at the start of the second canto, 18-19. But Tuffin’s trey from the right wing resulted for FEU to bring back the lead at 24-21.

FEU head coach Olsen Racela said that they carried out a lot of turnovers in the first half that resulted to transition points for the Fighting Maroons.

“Well, one was focus on our turnovers, we committed a lot of turnovers in the first half which resulted a lot of points for them [UP],” Racela said.

However, in the final frame, Maroons came back with a 9-16 scoring run to tie the game at 69-apiece, courtesy of Liaño’s steal with 24.7 seconds left. The Perasol-less UP forced an overtime period after Comboy’s trey was rimmed out at the end of regulation.

After losing the 19-point advantage, FEU regained their form with a comfortable five-point cushion in the nail-biter overtime, 74-69, before UP went on to tie the game again at 77-all.

Tuffin swished a three-point shot to break the deadlock, 80-77. Comboy then made sure not to miss his game-winner shot, giving FEU a three-point lead with 18.3 ticks remaining, 82-79.

“We started out well, didn’t end well [in the] regulation, pero nakabalik nung overtime (but we came back in the overtime),” Racela said.

The Racela-mentored squad now has a three-way tie with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers and De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, all sporting a 4-4 win-loss card.

FEU will next face the bottom seeded National University (NU) Bulldogs, who sent them in a 22-point deficit in the round one, on October 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

(See full album: UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Round 2 - FEU vs UP)