MANILA, Philippines – The FEU Tamaraws leaned on a big 3-pointer by Mike Tolomia and clutch free throws by Roger Pogoy and Mac Belo to hold off the pesky Adamson Soaring Falcons, 64-60, on Sunday, September 27, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The win improved FEU’s record in the UAAP Season 78 senior’s basketball tournament to 5-1, while Adamson remains winless in 6 games.
It was another well-rounded offensive game for the Tamaraws. Russel Escoto led his team in scoring with 11 points, while Tolomia and Belo accounted for 10 points each while combining to grab 16 rebounds.
Pogoy scored 9 points, while Achie Inigo scored 8 in FEU’s fourth straight victory.
Adamson was led by the monstrous performance of Pape Sarr, who finished with 26 points - including 12-of-16 from the foul stripe - and 22 rebounds. Joseph Nalos also played well with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Surprisingly, the game went down the wire and for brief moments, it looked as if the Soaring Falcons would complete the upset as they led 56-50 with a little under 6 minutes to go.
However, FEU went on a 7-0 run to re-take the lead, capped off by an Escoto jumper.
Nalos then converted on a layup off a spin move to put his club back ahead by one, but FEU answered with Tolomia’s 3-ball to go back on top 60-58 with 44 seconds remaining.
Nalos missed his next shot, attained the offensive rebound, but turned the handle over. Pogoy was then fouled and made both free throws, extending his team’s lead to 4.
After Sarr was fouled and converted both charities, FEU turned to Belo, who was also fouled and made both charities with 9 seconds to go, 64-60. The Soaring Falcons were then unable to convert a basket, sealing their defeat.
FEU, who beat Adamson for the tenth straight game, shot just 33% from the field and 18% from long range. The Tamaraws did do a better job taking care of the ball in this game, giving it away just 16 times.
Adamson shot just 26% from the floor and 15% from downtown. They stayed close with their opponents thanks to a 21-of-27 shooting performance from the foul stripe.
The next time FEU will be in action is in their upcoming finals rematch against the NU Bulldogs on Wednesday, October 7. The Bulldogs won last year’s UAAP title in 3 games against the Tamaraws, with Alfred Aroga taking home Finals MVP honors.
Adamson will look to end the first round of the tournament with a win when they face UP on Sunday, October 4. Both teams split their season series last year.
FEU (64): Escoto 11, Tolomia 10, Belo 10, Pogoy 9, Inigo 8, Jose 5, Arong 4, Tamsi 3, Orizu 2, Escoto 2, Trinidad 0, Holmqvist 0, Ebona 0, Dennison 0
ADU (60): Sarr 26, Nalos 9, Tungcab 7, Ng 2, Ochea 2, Garcia 2, Bernardo 2, Margallo 2, Polican 2, Villanueva 0, Camacho 0
Quarter scores: 13-11, 27-20, 48-45, 64-60