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Revilla powers La Salle past FEU for last twice-to-beat ticket

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Sep 21st 2013

Revilla unleashed six three-point arrows, including a tranquilizer gun-like heave from the deep left corner in the final minute to knock out the unrelenting Tamaraws.

LA Revilla emerged from the shadows of virtual obscurity Saturday to lead De La Salle University past a gritty Far Eastern University (FEU) and clinch the remaining twice-to-beat bonus heading into the Final Four of the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament.  

Revilla unleashed six three-point arrows, including a tranquilizer gun-like heave from the deep left corner in the final minute to knock out the unrelenting Tamaraws, 74-69, before a huge green-and-white crowd at the MOA Arena.

The graduating playmaker single-handedly outclassed the entire FEU team beyond the arc, going 6-of-11 to finish with a season-high 20 points against the Tamaraws’ woeful 4-of-32 outing from three-point range. He also had three rebounds and three assists to compensate for the so-so evening of Almond Vosotros, who wound up with just four points.

“I just jump on the chance whenever there’s an opportunity,” said Revilla, who was reduced to playing back-up for Vosotros and Thomas Torres for most of the season before exploding today.

His back-to-back triples with 3:05 in the third fueled a massive 16-6 onslaught, giving La Salle its biggest lead at 55-40 which proved enough cushion to fend off the Tamaraws’ last-minute surge.

Jason Perkins and Jeron Teng backstopped Revilla with 14 and 13 points respectively. Teng also grabbed 10 rebounds to complete a double-double. Norbert Torres only had three points but collared 11 boards to his name.

“We worked on our shooting last week. We were fortunate that they made them. That’s what FEU is giving us. They let our guards open in the perimeter,” La Salle coach Juno Sauler said after the Archers chalked up their eight straight win to highlight the twice-to-beat edge. “We just have to get on Romeo every single time.”

And La Salle did just that as soon to be crowd MVP Terrence Romeo wound up with 22 points on a measly 5-of-21 shooting while RR Garcia added 16 and eight rebounds. It marked the first time FEU lost a game with Romeo scoring more than 20 points.

But Sauler downplayed La Salle’s eight-game streak and pointed out at crucial mistakes in the fourth which allowed FEU to close in.

“We don't care about the streak. We could have done better in the fourth. We have to do a better job closing games out,” he said.

La Salle actually held a 55-40 lead entering the payoff period. But the Tamaraws employed a 2-3 zone to momentarily stop the Archers’ offensive barrage and cut the deficit, 51-60.

The Archers ignited a 6-0 blitz to restore their double-digit advantage. But FEU answered with a crippling 12-2 run sparked by Gryann Mendoza’s back-to-back triples to push the Tamaraws within 63-68 with 1:19 left before Revilla resurfaced from the margins.

Unmarked off the switch, the 5-foot-7 Iloilo sentinel received the ball off the kick-out from deep left and drilled in a cold-blooded trey – his sixth in the contest – to give La Salle a 71-63 buffer with just 55 tick on the clock.

FEU had a chance to steal the game after Romeo drained three freethrows with 49.6 second left. But Garcia missed an open lay-up and Mendoza muffed a triple in the ensuing play to yield the outcome.

Mike Tolomia, FEU’s other reliable combo guard, was a non-factor for the Tamaraws, making just six points on an eye-sore 0-of-7 norm from three-point country. Vastly improved swingman Mac Belo only had nine markers to show.

La Salle and FEU begin their Final Four showdown on Wednesday.

The scores:

DLSU 74 - Revilla 20, Perkins 14, Teng 13, Van Opstal 6, T.Torres 6, Salem 6, Vosotros 4, N.Torres 3, Tampus 2, Dela Paz 0.

FEU 69 – Romeo 22, Garcia 16, Belo 9, Tolomia 6, Mendoza 6, Pogoy 4, Hargrove 4, Cruz 2, Sentcheu 2.

Quarterscores: 18-11, 37-27, 60-49, 74-69.