collegiate basketball

FEU gives coach Sean Chambers warm welcome as Tamaraws eliminate UST  

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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FEU gives coach Sean Chambers warm welcome as Tamaraws eliminate UST  

KEY COG. FEU’s Royce Alforque drives past his UST defender in preseason action.


FEU rounds out the top teams in the UAAP bracket with UP, La Salle, and UE as they advance to the preseason playoffs against the NCAA qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines – The FEU Tamaraws made sure to welcome head coach Sean Chambers with a rousing win. 

Boosted by the return of their new mentor, the Tamaraws clinched the last spot in the crossover playoffs after outclassing the UST Growling Tigers, 79-72, in the FilOil EcoOIl Preseason Cup on Thursday, June 6.

“Nothing against last year’s team, but you definitely see a different FEU team right now compared to last year’s team,” said Chambers, who reached the venue an hour before the game as he returned from the US. 

“They’re starting to see the big picture and understanding that we can be good right now. We don’t have to wait to year 1, year 2, or year 3. We could be competitive right now with the right mindset and attention to details,” said the former PBA import nicknamed “Mr. 100%.”

The win gave the Tamaraws their fourth win in seven games to secure the third seed in the UAAP bracket, setting up a quarterfinal showdown against NCAA’s College of St. Benilde Blazers. 

The Tamaraws put an emphasis on attacking the paint as they only attempted 10 threes in the game compared to UST’s 26. This approach paid off well for FEU, making 58% of their two-pointers (31-of-53), and 53% overall (34-of-63). 

FEU also outscored UST in the paint, 46-32.

Rookie big Veejay Pre stood out for FEU, notching 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, along with 5 rebounds and 6 assists to outplay some of UST’s formidable frontcourt players such as Christian Manaytay and new foreign student-athlete Peter Osang. 

Meanwhile, veteran guard Royce Alforque played as the stabilizer for the Tamaraws with 15 points on an efficient 6-of-7 shooting, while Jorick Bautista and Mo Konateh added 12 markers each to push FEU to the preseason tilt’s playoff round.

“It’s great to have Royce come in and settle us down with some big plays in big parts when we need him (the most),” said Chambers, baring that it was also the first time he saw Alforque play in a game for the team under his watch. 

“It is really a joy watching him play today and see how he controls the game,” Chambers said of Alforque. 

Chambers also gave credit to his coaching staff led by last year’s head coach Denok Miranda for bringing the Tamaraws to the quarterfinals while he was away from the team for his son’s graduation. 

“I really need to give credit and kudos to my coaching staff. I’ve been only able to put in my system for just a month now because of my son’s graduation and family duties,” said Chambers. 

“It’s amazing to watch the growth of the program and us paying attention to details.”

Meanwhile, Nic Cabanero led UST with 17 points, while Forthsky Padrigao contributed 15, only for the Tigers to be down by as many as 19 points in the game. 

In the other UAAP matchup, the NU Bulldogs wrapped up their preseason campaign by demolishing the undermanned De La Salle Green Archers, 81-52. 

Secured of the second seed, UAAP champion La Salle will face NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions in the quarterfinals. 

Rounding off the bracket, the UE Red Warriors will take on the NCAA’s top seed Letran Knights.

The unbeaten UP Fighting Maroons will match up against the Mapua Cardinals in the playoff round scheduled for June 8. 

In other results, the LPU Pirates took down the JRU Heavy Bombers, 74-70, the EAC Generals outlasted the CSB Blazers, 75-70, and the Red Lions secured their playoff berth with a 73-70 beating of the Arellano Chiefs. 

The Scores

First Game

LPU 74 — Barba 15, Montaño 13, Peñafiel 11, Daileg 11, Guadaña 6, Aviles 5, Cunanan 5, Villegas 3, Caduyac 3, Versoza 2, Garro 0, Reyes 0, Carino 0, Pallingayan 0, Reyes 0, Fuentes 0. 

JRU 70 — Guiab 16, Raymundo 15, Panapanaan 13, De Leon 6, Sarmiento 5, Garcia 5, Ramos 4, Bernardo 3, Lozano 2, Ferrer 1, De Jesus 0, Samontanes 0, Benitez 0, Raymundo 0, Pabico 0. 

Quarters: 25-12, 32-33, 50-54, 74-70. 

Second Game

EAC 75 — Gurtiza 17, Tolentino 10, Oftana 8, Luciano 7, Angeles 6, Quinal 6, Pagsanjan 6, Bagay 4, Ochavo 4, Doria 2, Loristo 2, Umpad 2, Jacob 1, Ednilag 0, Devara 0. 

Benilde 70 — Torres 9, Galas 8, Eusebio 7, Carillo 7, Morales 6, Vanguardia 5, Serrano 5, Turco 4, Ondoa 4, Turco 4, Cometa 4, Jalalon 4, Oli 3, Cajucom 2, Victoria 2.

Quarters: 21-23, 43-42, 64-63, 75-70. 

Third Game

FEU 79 — Pre 22, Alforque 15, Konateh 12, Bautista 12, Daa 9, Godinez 5, Pasaol 4, Buenaventura 0, Bagunu 0, Gordon 0, Ona 0, Felipe 0. 

UST 72 — Cabañero 17, Padrigao 15, Osang 10, Crisostomo 10, Manaytay 7, Paranada 5, Pangilinan 3, Danting 3, Acido 2, Castro 0, Estacio 0, Laure 0, Robinson 0. 

Quarters: 22-16, 40-31, 64-47, 79-72. 

Fourth Game

San Beda 73 — Payosing 19, Sajonia 16, Andrada 9, Calimag 8, Estacio 4, Tagle 4, Jalbuena 4, Puno 3, Gonzales 3, Torres 2, Celzo 1, Calimag 0, Jamora 0, Lopez 0, Songcuya 0. 

Arellano 70 — Ongotan 20, Abiera 15, Hernal 9, Libang 8, Borromeo 7, Vinoya 6, Millier 3, Dayrit 2, Capulong 0, Geronimo 0, Camay 0, Acop 0, Dela Cruz 0, Espiritu 0. 

Quarters: 20-19, 36-35, 47-56, 73-70. 

Fifth Game 

NU 81 — Tulabut 11, Palacielo 10, Yu 9, Figueroa 8, Garcia 7, Enriquez 6, John 6, Manansala 5, Lim 4, Padrones 4, Santiago 4, Francisco 3, Gulapa 2, Dela Cruz 2, Perciano 0.

La Salle 52 — Quiambao 12, Policarpio 9, Gollena 6, Gaspay 5, Agunanne 5, Cortez 5, Marasigan 4, Austria 3, Buenaventura 2, Romero 1, Abadam 0, Ramiro 0, Rubico 0. 

Quarters: 28-15, 43-28, 69-42, 81-52.


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