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FEU comeback thwarts La Salle in OT

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 14th 2013

The Tamaraws erased a 60-73 fourth-quarter deficit with a mighty 15-2 blitz to force the extra session and complete their improbable comeback.

Far Eastern University (FEU) clawed back from a 13-point hole and flourished in overtime Saturday as the Tamaraws thwarted De La Salle University, 83-79, to stay unscathed halfway through the first round of the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws erased a 60-73 fourth-quarter deficit with a mighty 15-2 blitz in the last 2:30 of regulation to force the extra session where FEU displayed its true mettle behind star guards Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia.

Romeo tossed in 25 points while Garcia added 19 for the Tamaraws who solidified their hold of first place with a 4-0 card.

Mark Belo also made his presence felt underneath, grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds on top of 10 markers, while Roger Pogoy and Mike Tolimia combined for 19 points.

Jeron Teng led the Archers, scoring 25 points but was just 3-of-11 from the stripe and missed a pair of crucial freethrows in the last 22.4 seconds with La Salle trailing, 78-81. Teng also had 15 rebounds and four assists for good measure.

“It says a lot about the character of this team. It was a total team effort,” FEU coach Nash Racela said minutes after the Tamaraws posted the season’s biggest comeback yet.

“All I told them was: ano bibigay na ba tayo o hindi? (And) they responded well. Maganda naman idenepensa namin (especially in overtime).”

Yet early in the fourth, the Tamaraws hardly defended La Salle's shooters, who uncorcked a blistering 14-2 run capped by a triple each from Almond Vosotros and Luigi dela Paz to give La Salle a commanding 73-60 advantage with 2:36 left. FEU then did the unthinkable with Romeo, Garcia, and Belo leading the Tamaraws' charge from the grave.

Overall, the Archers shot a horrendous 13-of-26 (50 percent) from the line. La Salle though displayed a better inside game with double-double outputs from Arnold Van Opstal (20 points, 11 rebounds) Jason Perkins (10 points, 12 rebounds).

The scores:

FEU 83 – Romeo 25, Garcia 19, Belo 10, Tolomia 9, Pogoy 9, Hargrove 0, Cruz 0, Mendoza 0, Jose 0, Sentcheu 0.

DLSU 79 – Teng 25, Van Opstal 20, Perkins 10, Dela Paz 9, Vosotros 8, Torres T. 4, Revilla 3, Torres N. 0, Tampus 0, Reyes 0, Montalbo 0, Bolick 0.


Quarter scores: 17-21, 35-34, 54-58, 75-75, 83-79.