UAAP: FEU boosts Final 4 bid by crushing UST

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2022 02:51 PM | Updated as of May 01 2022 03:28 PM

FEU's Bryan Sajonia puts up a shot against the UST Growling Tigers in their UAAP Season 84 second round game. UAAP Media
FEU's Bryan Sajonia puts up a shot against the UST Growling Tigers in their UAAP Season 84 second round game. UAAP Media

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Far Eastern University is assured of a playoff for a spot in the Final 4 after a 109-65 demolition of University of Santo Tomas on Sunday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws used a big second quarter to pull away from the Growling Tigers, and poured it on in the second half to end their elimination round campaign with a 7-7 win-loss record.

A win by La Salle against National University in the third game of the day's quadruple-header will clinch FEU the fourth seed in the UAAP Season 84 Final 4. Meanwhile, Adamson University has been officially eliminated from the Final 4 race, despite a win against University of the East earlier in the day.

"We defended better in the third quarter, and that's why we pulled away. It was all defense in the third quarter," said FEU coach Olsen Racela, who also touted his team's 31 assists in the victory. 

"Ang mindset namin right now is we need one more win to get to the Final 4," he also said. "Hindi pa secured 'yun for us. So right now, hintay lang kami. We need one more win."

It was a relatively close first period with UST staying within striking distance, 22-15. But the Tamaraws broke loose for 27 points in the second period that allowed them to take a 49-34 halftime lead, and the Growling Tigers were never able to recover.

Bryan Sajonia had his best game of the season, exploding for 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting. RJ Abarrientos shot just 3-of-11 from the field, but contributed nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals in an all-around performance. LJay Gonzales and Royce Alforque combined for 20 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds. 

The Tamaraws were even better in the third frame, where they out-scored UST 35-13 to take full control of the contest.

The Growling Tigers were already eliminated from Final 4 contention entering the game, and finished the season with a 3-11 record.

Nicael Cabanero had 16 points to lead UST, while Joshua Fontanilla scored 13 points in his final game for the Growling Tigers, along with six of the team's 18 turnovers. 

The scores: 

FEU (109) -- Sajonia 27, Abarrientos 11, Alforque 10, Gonzales 10, Sleat 9, Ojoula 8, Torres 8, Bienes 8, Celzo 6, Gravera 5, Dulatre 2, Sandagon 2, Tempra 2, Li 1, Coquia 0.

UST (65) -- Cabañero 16, Fontanilla 13, Concepcion 10, Manalang 6, Manaytay 5, Pangilinan 5, Canoy 4, Gomez de Liaño 3, Ando 2, Garing 1, Herrera 0, Yongco 0, Gesalem 0, Mantua 0.

Quarterscores: 22-15, 49-34, 74-47, 109-65