FEU explodes in fourth quarter to complete comeback against UE
MANILA, Philippines – The FEU Tamaraws were at their best in the fourth quarter on Wednesday, September 23, as they erased a 12-point deficit entering the fourth quarter and came away with a statement-making 92-81 victory over the UE Red Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Once again backing up why many consider them to be the favorite of the UAAP Season 78 senior’s basketball tournament, the Tamaraws scored 33 points in the final period while limiting their opponents to just 10 - mostly in garbage time - to improve their record to 4-1.
The Red Warriors, who are now in a two-game losing skid, dropped to 2-3.
Mac Belo, an expected top pick in the 2016 PBA Draft, led the Tamaraws with 24 points on 60% shooting, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and two blocks, while his co-pilot Mike Tolomia put up 15 points, 2 boards, and 8 assists.
Monbert Arong registered 14 points in the win, while big man Raymar Jose had 13 points and 11 boards. Roger Pogoy and Achie Inigo scored 10 and 8 points, respectively.
Derrick Pumaren’s Red Warriors, who erased an 11-2 deficit in the first quarter and was ahead 50-39 at halftime, was led by the 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists of Edison Batiller. Chris Javier also played well, putting up 13 points to go with 4 rebounds.
FEU, who won for the tenth time in the last 11 games against UE, opened the fourth period on a 7-0 run spearheaded by 3-pointers from Inigo and Tolomia. The Red Warriors were momentarilly able to stop the bleeding thanks to an Edgar Charcos tip-in, but the Tamaraws were able to respond right away thanks to a Belo jumper.
A few minutes later, Belo hit a 3-ball and then converted on a put-back to put his team ahead 77-75. It was all FEU from there as they completed a 22-4 run to extend their lead to 81-75, and stayed in control of the game the rest of the way.
Once again showing that they can flip the switch at any moment - like they did against UP - the Tamaraws shot 59% from the field in the final quarter and went 4-of-9 from downtown, while limiting UE to 28% shooting and 0-of-5 from long range.
Coach Nash Racela’s team also scored 10 points off turnovers during the 10-minute span.
FEU shot 49% from the floor overall and 38% from long rage, but once again had issues taking care of the ball as they turned it over 24 times.
Both the Tamaraws and Red Warriors did a nice job sharing the ball as they combined for 44 assists. UE, however, also had issues with miscues as they finished with 21 turnovers.
FEU (92): Belo 24, Tolomia 15, Arong 14, Jose 13, Pogoy 10, Inigo 8, Tamsi 3, Escoto 2, Orizu 2, Escoto 1, Dennison 0, Comboy 0, Trinidad 0, Ebona 0
UE (81): Batiller 18, Javier 13, Derige 10, Varilla 9, Abanto 8, Charcos 7, De Leon 7, Palma 6, Manalang 3, Penuela 0, Yu 0
Quarter scores: 21-29, 39-50, 59-71, 92-81 – Rappler.com