FEU's Mike Tolomia attempts a floater over La Salle's Julian Sargent. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University's (FEU) Mike Tolomia was named the UAAP Player of the Week after his impressive performance against De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines (UP) that helped the Tamaraws claim the top spot in the league standings.
Tolomia was not expected to be 100% against La Salle last Wednesday after a fever forced him to play limited minutes in their previous game.
Still, the 5-foot-11 guard gave it his all as the Tamaraws snapped the Green Arches' seven-game winning streak, 74-70, to grab the solo lead in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament.
"Nakalabas siya ng hospital ng Tuesday, at hinabol niya yung practice namin. 'Di ko rin alam what to expect from him," said FEU coach Nash Racela.
Tolomia finished with 22 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while also starring in the game-winning play when he scored the putback off his own miss at the foul line with 5.9 seconds to go.
Three days later, Tolomia was at it again, finishing with 19 points and five boards before fouling out as FEU sank UP, 75-69, to stay on top of the standings with a 9-2 slate.
The back-to-back heroics earned Tolomia his first UAAP Player of the Week honor this season, edging Ateneo's Kiefer Ravena, UE's Charles Mammie, and La Salle's Jason Perkins for the weekly plum supported by Bactigel Hand Sanitizer, Mighty Mom Dishwashing and Dr. J Rubbing Alcohol.
"I think nagagawa ko nang mas ma-involve 'yung teammates ko. Hopefully, magtuloy-tuloy," said Tolomia.
The fourth-year guard hopes to help his team anew when the Tamaraws try to nail the first Final Four berth against Adamson on Wednesday. It will be the second game that they will play without Racela, who is currently with Gilas Pilipinas in Spain.
"Itutuloy pa rin namin 'yung sistema na iniwan ni coach sa amin," said Tolomia. "Magiging okay naman kami."