UAAP: FEU takes down Perasol-less UP in OT for back-to-back wins

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2019 06:58 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2019 03:40 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) Far Eastern University squandered a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, but regained its bearings in overtime for a thrilling 82-79 triumph over University of the Philippines, Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was FEU's second straight win of the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament, giving them a 4-4 win-loss record that forced a triple tie for third to fifth places along with University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University.

For the Fighting Maroons, who were playing sans head coach Bo Perasol, it was their second straight loss. They dropped to 5-3 in the tournament, still good for solo second place in the standings.

"Hard fought win for us," said FEU coach Olsen Racela. "That's what you expect every game in the UAAP."

"We played possession by possession, focused on every second of the game. We started out well, didn't end well sa regulation, pero nakabalik kami noong overtime," he added. 

The Tamaraws appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win after they took a 69-53 lead with 5:58 to go on a Patrick Tchuente lay-up.

It turned out to be FEU's last points in regulation. The Fighting Maroons clamped down on them the rest of the way, while Kobe Paras sparked a 16-0 run to end the quarter. He scored seven points in the run, including the jumper that made it a one-possession game, 69-67, with still 46.4 ticks to go.

Javi Gomez de Liano then came up with a huge steal and a lay-up in transition that tied the game at 69 with 24 seconds left. FEU still had a chance, but Ino Comboy's three-pointer swirled in and out of the basket as time expired.

The Tamaraws landed the first blows in overtime, going up 74-69 off a three-pointer by Xyrus Torress and a lay-up by Kenneth Tuffin. UP responded with an 8-3 run, capped by a Bright Akhuetie lay-up with 65 seconds left, to force the last deadlock of the game at 77.

Tuffin came up big for the Tams, however, as he stepped into a three-pointer that gave FEU the lead for good, 80-77. Comboy then made up for his missed shot at the end of the fourth quarter by drilling the dagger fadeaway jumper with 18 seconds to play.

The Fighting Maroons could have tied the game, but Javi Gomez de Liano's three-pointer misfired in their final possession, and the Tamaraws were able to run out the clock.

"Sa overtime, nag-focus lang kami," said FEU guard LJ Gonzales. "Sinabi ni coach na defense lang, so dumpensa lang kami hanggang sa dulo. 'Yun lang po."

The result allowed the Tams to split their season series against UP, as the Fighting Maroons took their first round encounter, 61-55. 

Tuffin led FEU with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Gonzales had a career-high 17 points along with a career-high 12 rebounds and 6 assists, though he also had 6 turnovers. Tchuente finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Torres had 12 points, while Comboy scored 10 markers.

Paras had 22 points on 9-of-24 shooting, along with 9 rebounds and 6 steals. Reigning MVP Bright Akhuetie had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Javi Gomez de Liano had 11 points.

UP shot only 37.45% from the field, while the Tams went 47.06%. FEU also made 11 of its 19 three-pointers, while the Maroons made just 5 of 24 attempts from beyond the arc.

Perasol is set to miss UP's next two games as well, following a three-game suspension given to him by the league for his ejection against Ateneo de Manila University last week. 

The scores:

FEU (82) - Tuffin 18, Gonzales 17, Tchuente 14, Torres 12, Comboy 10, Stockton 5, Cani 4, Eboña 2, Alforque 0, Bayquin 0, Bienes 0, Celzo 0, Nunag 0.

UP (79) - Paras 22, Akhuetie 14, Gomez de Liaño Ja. 11, Gomez de Liaño Ju. 8, Manzo 7, Tungcab 5, Rivero 4, Spencer 3, Webb 3, Prado 2, Jaboneta 0, Murrell 0.

Quarterscores: 18-17, 30-27, 60-43, 69-69, 82-79

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