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Tolomia sparkles as FEU grabs top spot

By Josiah Albelda Posted Aug 27th 2014

Mike Tolomia scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half as the FEU Tamaraws snapped La Salle's seven-game winning streak and more importantly grabbed solo first place.

Last Saturday, Mike Tolomia went straight to the hospital after battling tonsilitis during the game against Adamson University.

Today, Tolomia went straight to the press room and got interviewed after a big win.

The shifty guard came alive in the second half and delivered the biggest blows as Far Eastern University made it two in a row against De La Salle University, 74-70, in the 77th UAAP men’s bsaketball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Tentative in the first two quarters, Tolomia chose to shine bright in the biggest of moments to help the Tamaraws snatch the solo league lead with an 8-2 record.

Tolomia scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, bringing the Morayta cagers back into the ball game after trailing by double digits early before striking the daggers into the Green Archers in the end game.

Behind Tolomia and Mac Belo, FEU erected a 67-59 lead in the fourth quarter, prompting La Salle coach Juno Sauler to call for time with 4:18 left in the game.

The Archers rallied, dropped a 9-2 bomb capped by a Norbert Torres three-point play and trimmed the Tamaraws’ advantage to 69-68 with only 49 seconds remaining.

FEU missed its next shot attempt, but Tolomia stole the ball off Almond Vosotros and calmly sank two free-throws that gave them a 71-68 lead, 14.8 seconds left on the clock.

Jeron Teng bullied his way to the basket to make it 71-70, setting up the stage for Tolomia’s heroics with 8.3 ticks remaining.

Tolomia made his first free-throw attempt before missing the second. None of the La Salle players on the court, however, were able to pull down the rebound, with Tolomia blazing to get it and hoisting it for the game-winner.

“Actually, that was a gamble on his part,” Racela said of Tolomia’s big offensive rebound. “Sometimes, you just have to trust your instinct.”

Tolomia, who was confined and showed up in practice just yesterday, added five rebounds and three assists for the Tamaraws, who also drew 11 points and eight rebounds from Mac Belo.

Teng had another big outing for the Archers, delivering 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks, but the former Rookie of the Year committed crucial turnovers as FEU was making its run in the fourth period.

Norbert Torres had 13 points and 10 rebounds while Jason Perkins and Vosotros combined for 15 points, 21 boards and six assists for La Salle, who saw its seven-game winning streak snapped.

The scores:

FEU (74) — Tolomia 22, Belo 11, Inigo 10, Pogoy 7, Escoto 7, Jose 5, Cruz 4, Hargrove 4, Tamsi 4, Dennison 0, Ugsang 0

La Salle (70) — Teng 28, Torres 13, Perkins 8, Vosotros 7, Van Opstal 5, Sargent 4, Montalbo 3, Rivero 2, Bolick 0, Andrada 0, Tratter 0

Quarters: 15-19, 26-35, 52-51, 74-70