Saturday, October 4, 2014
FEU holds off NU in Game 1; Tamaraws a win away from UAAP championship (VIDEO)
The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws held off a fourth quarter rally by the National University (NU) Bulldogs to draw first blood in their best-of-three Finals series, 75-70, and move to within one win of claiming the UAAP Season 77 championship.
Mac Belo, after struggling all game with poor shooting and foul trouble, hit a lay-up over NU center Alfred Aroga with 44.6 seconds to go to extend FEU's lead to 73-48.
One free throw each from Aroga and point guard Gelo Alolino made it a one-possession game, 70-73, with still 38.5 seconds left, and FEU's Raymar Jose muffed two chances to steal the win when he missed point blank lay-ups.
But NU's Glenn Khobuntin misfired on a potential game-tying three-pointer, and Achie Inigo sealed the game for FEU on the free throw line as the Tamaraws neared their first title since Season 68 of the UAAP.
National U led by as much 12 points in the first half, using a 12-4 exchange sparked by Troy Rosario and Reden Celda to taake a 30-18 lead. Celda, who came off the bench, had seven points in the run including a baseline floater to give his team their biggest lead of the half.
With the Bulldogs threatening to pull away, Mike Tolomia rose to the occasion for the Tamaraws. His fearless lay-up over Alfred Aroga touched off an 11-0 FEU barrage, as the Tams used their transition offense to cut into the NU lead.
Back-to-back lay-ups from Raymar Jose made it 29-30 with 3:03 to go in the first half, before a Rosario three-point play ended a nearly five-minute NU silence.
The Bulldogs took a 38-35 lead at halftime as scoring picked up in the second frame after a slow opening quarter for both teams.
FEU 75 – Tolomia 15, Pogoy 14, Iñigo 12, Jose 8, Belo 8, Hargrove 8, Dennison 5, Tamsi 3, Cruz 2, Escoto 0
NU 70 – Aroga 17, Alolino 14, Rosario 12, Khobuntin 9, Celda 7, Alejandro 3, Betayene 3, Javelona 3, Diputado 2, Neypes 0, Perez 0 Quarterscores: 14-15, 35-38, 60-50, 75-70