FEU grinds out gutsy finish vs La Salle
MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University earned a hard-fought 68-61 victory over La Salle in the UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, September 9.
Arvin Tolentino paced the Tamaraws' balanced charge with 13 points and Kenneth Tuffin added 11.
FEU dropped seven unanswered points, 62-56, to completely take control, ending with a Hubert Cani jumper exactly at the two-minute mark of regulation.
The Archers misfired, nailing only a couple of baskets in the last two minutes as FEU's Axel Iñigo and Wendel Comboy iced the game on penalties.
“The last time I was here [at the post-game press conference] hindi maganda yung resulta, yung Final Four loss namin. Maganda resulta ng season opener. I like our improvement this year,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela.
(The last time I was here at the post-game press conference, the results weren't good, we lost in the Final Four. This time, the result of our season opener turned out good. I like our improvement this year.)
Tuffin and Santi Santillan traded triples midway through the 4th with the Archers coming on top, 56-55 – a short picture of what the game has been all day long.
Santillan created a seven-point difference for La Salle, 41-34, at the 5:38 mark of the third off a wide open triple.
However, FEU stormed back and punctuated their fightback with a fling-up buzzer-beating trey by team vet Iñigo to tie it up at 48 heading into the 4th.
FEU 68 – Tolentino 13, Tuffin 11, Iñigo 10, Comboy 9, Stockton 9, Cani 7, Parker 5, Ebona 2, Escoto 2, Orizu 0.
La Salle 61 – Santillan 19, Melecio 11, Caracut 9, Baltazar 8, Montalbo 5, Serrano 3, Bates 2, Samuel 2, Manuel 1, Dyke 1, Go 0, Corteza 0, Capacio 0.
Quarters: 11-14, 25-26, 48-48, 68-61.