The Far Eastern University Tamaraws caught the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on a bad day.
The Tamaraws’ big man Prince Orizu gave UP’s rebound monster Akhuetie Bright huge problems in the shaded lane with the help of four other teammates, and they went on to claim an 89-73 victory in the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament yesterday at The Arena in San Juan.
Orizu banged in 15 points to go with seven rebounds. FEU then held UP to their lowest outputs in the second and third quarter this season.
As the 6’11” Orizu held his ground underneath against the 6’7” Bright, the Tams forced the Maroons to shoot from the outside. The Maroons were held to a 36.11 percent field goal percent in the first half.
Presiding over an 8-0 run in the start of the first period, Orizu completed a three-point play and a layup in the last 8:28 as FEU went on to grab a 25-13 spread.
UP’s 13 point production in a quarter was their lowest this season up to that point. But their shooting percentage was even lower in the third period as FEU held them to just 11 points.
By then the Tams were already unreachable, 69-46.
The Tams, with Arvin Tolentino making 13 points and Wendell Comboy hitting 12, went on to earn their first win since absorbing a 74-76 setback at the hands of the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.
“It was a good bounce back win. And it had to take a game like the one we had against UST for us to really play things possession by possession. It was a defensive game. I felt na para sa amin iyun opensa namin, bonus na lang,” said Tams coach Olsen Racela.
The Maroons, 1-2, drew 15 points from Javi Gomez de Liano, while his brother Juan had 13. Bright scored points and hauled down 11 rebounds.
Javi struck with three triples in the second period as UP tried to catch up, 29-35.
But the Tams struck back with five treys, with Jasper Parker unloading two, and FEU stayed ahead, 49-35, at halftime.
Parker and Axel Inigo finished with 11 points for FEU, who UP, which now has 1-2 slate, got 11 points from Jun Manzo while Paul Desiderio added 10.
The Tams now share second spot with the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles, who won over the National University Bulldogs, 72-46, last Saturday.
The Adamson Falcons are in the solo lead after winning their straight game with their 79-71 stopping of UST.
UP shares a 1-2 record with NU and UST.