MANILA, Philippines -- The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws eked out a 81-79 decision over gritty Arellano University to deal the Chiefs their first loss in the FilOil Hanes Premier Cup Wednesday, May 8.
James Forrester had two crucial turnovers for Arellano University in the final 5.3 seconds, wasting the chance to complete a gallant fightback that saw them trail from 14 down.
In the last game, the University of Perpetual Help Altas waylaid the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 84-59, to book their first win.
FEU slotman Russell Escoto and RR Garcia fueled a 21-8 run to close the first half as the Tamaraws seized control, 49-35.
But AU spitfire Nard Pinto and big man Prince Caperal spearheaded the Chiefs in the second half to rally back and take the lead, 72-71.
From there, it was a back-and-forth tussle for both squads until Mike Tolomia hit a freethrow to give FEU some cushion, 81-79.
In the next possession, Forrester turned the ball with a bad pass but Tamaraw Roger Pogoy missed two free shots on the other end.
With a chance to tie or take the game with a triple, Forrester hurriedly raced to the frontcourt but lost possession as time expired.
Despite the close call, FEU head coach Nash Racela was delighted with the Tamaraws’ showing.
“The important thing for us is to learn how to win, heading into the UAAP,” said Racela. “There’s no better way to learn. I’m happy that we made the adjustments.”
Tolomia paced FEU with 18 points while Escoto added 13. Pinto had another strong performance for the Chiefs with 25 markers. - Rappler.com