Manila, Philippines – Behind 26 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds from Mike Tolomia, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws held on in the fourth quarter to take down the San Beda Red Lions, 89-79, in a battle between the unbeaten teams of Group B in the 2014 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup tournament on Saturday, May 31, at the San Juan Arena.
Helping out Tolomia were Mark Belo and Roger Pogoy, who contributed 14 and 10, respectively.
With their victory over San Beda, FEU finished their elimination round campaign with an immaculate 6-0 win-loss clip, and will be the No. 2 seed in the competition’s quarterfinal round. CEU, which also finished with a 6-0 record, will be the No. 1 seed based on the league’s quotient system.
“Actually, we had a mentality entering this game that San Beda plays similar to powerhouse La Salle,” said FEU head coach Nash Racela after the game.
“A lot of fine-tuning kailangan,” he added. “But the important thing is we’re starting to believe in ourselves. We’re still in the process of teaching them.
FEU looked en route to an easy victory entering the deciding period, but the defending champions of the NCAA didn’t permit their adversaries to run away with the top seed in Group A.
In the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, San Beda unfurled a 16-6 run, trimming the Tamaraws’ edge to six, 77-71.
With the score slated at 81-75 a few moments later, Tolomia made his presence felt once again, hitting a jumper followed by a tough turnaround floater to put his club up 10 with a little over 3 minutes to go.
“Isa sila sa pinaghanda[an] namin, so masaya kami na panalo kami,” mentioned Tolomia after the contest.
(They were one of the teams we prepared for, so we’re happy we came out with the win.)
The Tamaraws would then hold onto their lead, leading to the Red Lions’ first loss of the tourney.
Leading the fight for the losing side was Ola Adeogun, who put up 21 markers and 15 boards. Ryusei Koga helped out as well, pitching 15 points.
Both teams fought each other to a standstill in the first half of the opening period, with the match knotting up at 11 following a Beda basket.
But FEU would soon go on a rally, taking a 15-11 lead thanks to consecutive Belo dunks. After which, five quick points from Tolomia, who had 10 in the first period, blew the quarter open. After 12 minutes of action, the Tamaraws had a double-digit advantage, 24-13.
“Aggressive lang talaga ako simula palang nang start,” Tolomia added during the post-game session.
(I was just aggressive from the start.)
Though Tolomia sat to start the second quarter, FEU still increased their breathing room thanks to a collection of consecutive three-balls. Simultaneously, Coach Nash Racela’s soldiers did a good job of trapping San Beda’s backup point guards for turnovers that led to easy layups.
Art Dela Cruz helped fire up his team with 6 points thanks to a couple of floaters. But FEU ended the Red Lions’ run courtesy of two straight threes from Jason David.
At the half, FEU led by 13, 48-35.
San Beda opened the third quarter with a new-found defensive intensity. Quicker to closing out on FEU’s shooters, Beda managed to stagnate their opponents’ offense while closing the gap to seven, 51-44.
However, the Tamaraws woud regain their double-digit threshold, thanks to Tolomia, who put up six quick points on the scoreboard to make the count 60-48.
San Beda responded by converting on a couple of buckets as well, but FEU kept its opponents at bay to enter the final period with a 71-55 lead.
FEU (89): Tolomia 26, Belo 14, Pogoy 10, Jose 8, David 7, Inigo 6, Escoto 5, Cruz 4, Hargrove 4, Tamsi 3, Escoto 2, Dennison 0, Denila 0, Lee Uy 0, Ugsang 0, Delfinado 0
San Beda (79): Adeogun 21, Koga 15, Tongco 10, Dela Cruz 8, Mocon 6, Semerad 6, Ludovice 5, Amer 4, Pascual 4, Mendoza 0, Abatayo 0, Cabanag 0, Solera 0
Quarter Scoring: 24-13, 48-35, 71-55, 89-79