The Far Eastern University Tamaraws rolled to their winning close win in the closing seconds, beating the De La Salle Green Archers 48 – 46 in a tightly fought contest today at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Archers struggled to break free from the Tamaraw’s aggressive man-to-man defense, causing La Salle to convert only 27% of their field goals. The Green Archers, however, also shone on defense, causing FEU to misfire from the field and hit only 30% of their field goals. Turnovers were aplenty throughout the entire game with La Salle turning the ball over 15 times with FEU committing 9.
FEU’s Terrence Romeo was the only player to score in double digits for both squads with a game high 10 points followed by Michael Tolomia and Anthony Hargrove who scored 7 points each. Norbert Torres, who registered 12 rebounds and 3 blocks, led the Green Archers’ scoring department with 8 points. Jovet Mendoza, Almond Vosotros and Yutien Andrada also scored 8 points with Andrada registering 3 blocks.
The Green Archers struggled to find their offensive rhythm early in the first half due to the Tamaraw’s pressure defense and continuous pressure on the ball handler. Despite this, FEU failed to pull away due to the Green Archers’ equally impressive defense. La Salle were able to force FEU to foul trouble with the latter already in the penalty with 6 minutes left in the quarter. Unfortunately, the Green Archers were unable to take advantage of the trips to the charity lane due to inconsistent free throw shooting.
FEU’s defense finally softened up in the second quarter which allowed the Green Archers to finally take the lead after a Norbert Torres layup to make it 17 – 15, in favor of the Green Archers. After half time, both of the squads’ defense toughened up immensely with none of the teams allowing one another to pull away.
The game was momentarily stopped after Jed Manguera suffered a nose injury after being hit by RR Garcia’s elbow. Almond Vosotros gave the Green Archers some much needed breathing space in the third quarter. However, this proved to be insufficient as the Tamaraws took the third quarter with a one point lead at 34 – 35.
Both teams were going at it both offensively and defensively in the fourth quarter, but it was FEU’s Mark Tolomia who made a difference after scoring a quick step back jumper to finally give FEU a two point lead. Arvie Bringas, who played one season for La Salle back in 2009 before transferring to FEU, could’ve increased the Tamaraws’ lead even further only if he had not missed two free throws. The game finally ended at 48 – 46 in favor of the FEU Tamaraws to end La Salle’s 2 game winning streak.
“The game could’ve gone either way. It was just too bad that we lost. We held them at 48 points the entire game and we were able to neutralize their two top scorers RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo. We struggled with our free throws in the first half, but fortunately we were able to convert all of our free throws in the second half.”, said Coach Gee Abanilla in a post game interview. “Holding them down with 48 points is a good result.”, Coach Gee added. When asked on what preparations they are undergoing with their next game against Ateneo, Coach Gee said that their main focus is finding out what went wrong today.
Note: Guards LA Revilla and Luigi Dela Paz did not play today due to injury. Revilla is currently experiencing a chronic ankle injury while Dela Paz is still recovering from a shoulder injury that he had incurred in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Hanes Cup. Both players, however, are expected to suit up for the Green Archers on Saturday against the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
DLSU 46 – Andrada 8, Vosotros 8, Mendoza 8, Torres N. 8, Teng 6, Tallo 4, Van Opstal 2, Tampus 2, Torres T. 0, Webb 0, Manguera 0
FEU 48 – Romeo 10, Tolomia 8, Hargrove 7, Pogoy 6, Garcia 6, Bringas A. 5, Cruz 4, Belo 3, Mendoza 0, Escoto 0, Bringas M. 0
Quarterscores: 15-11, 23-26, 35-34, 48-46.