MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The FEU Tamaraws surrendered a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter but avoided a total collapse to defeat the NU Bulldogs, 78-75, and grab solo second place in the UAAP Season 79 league standings at the conclusion of the first round on Wednesday, October 5, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The win improved the record of the Tams to 5-2, putting them behind first-place La Salle (7-0). NU, on the other hand, dropped to a 3-way tie with Adamson and Ateneo for the third seed at 4-3.
The Soaring Falcons currently hold third place due to a superior quotient, while the Bulldogs and Blue Eagles are in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Monbert Arong led the Tamaraws with 20 points while Wendel Comboy added 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
J-Jay Alejandro recorded a career-high 31 points to lead the Bulldogs in addition to 9 boards, while Alfred Aroga finished with 14 points and 14 boards but had crucial turnovers late.
After Alejandro tied the game at 71 to erase a 13-point FEU lead, the Tamaraws went back on top by 4 thanks to baskets by Ron Dennison and Richard Escoto.
NU had a crack at overtime after a Salem 3 got them within striking distance with a few seconds left, but Rev Diputado missed a heave from half-court to seal his team’s loss.
Both teams will face again next Sunday in their first games of the second round. FEU will aim to extend its winning streak to 5 games by then. – Rappler.com