Thursday, 18 July 2013 24 Comments
by JOSEF T. RAMOS
“It’S how you finish.”
Those were Nash Racela’s exact words when asked by reporters how he described Far Eastern University’s 87-83 win over National University on Wednesday in Season 76 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Behind the clutch plays of guard Terrence Romeo and the support of veteran bench players Carl Cruz and Gryann Mendoza, the FEU Tamaraws overcame NU’s fourth quarter rally and stayed unbeaten in five games.
Romeo, who delivered 24 points on 6-of-10 shooting beyond the arc, made four important baskets in the last 30 seconds to maintain the win. He sealed the victory with two free throws for the Tamaraws with only four seconds left in the game.
NU’s Robin Roño fired a triple to slice FEU’s lead to 83-85 with only 8.8 ticks left in the game before Romeo’s next two free throws.
“We should learn from this game and can’t be satisfied,” said Racela. “Defenses will really focus on the three guys, so that will open up a lot of opportunities for the other guys. So we have to be more aware of that opportunity.”
FEU drained 15 three-pointers, the last of which was by Cruz with 5:32 remaining, and that gave them an insurmountable 79-59 edge midway through the final period. After the FEU Tamaraws went scoreless for about five minutes, Romeo came to the rescue.
Emmanuel Mbe dominated the fourth quarter by scoring 15 of his 27 points in addition to his 16 rebounds, while two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks finished with 26 points and eight boards.
NU dropped to a 3-2 win-loss card.
Cruz and Mendoza contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively, for FEU. RR Garcia had nine. (EF/Inboundpass.com)
FEU 87 – Romeo 24, Cruz 13, Mendoza 10, Garcia 9, Tolomia 7, Belo 6, Pogoy 5, Sentcheu 4, Iñigo 3, Jose 2, Hargrove 2, Dennison 2.
NU 83 – Mbe 27, Parks 26, Roño 9, Khobuntin 8, Javillionar 7, Villamor 2, Rosario 2, Alolino 2, Porter 0, De Guzman 0, Alejandro 0.
QS: 28-16; 45-36; 68-48; 87-83.