FEU nips La Salle in double OT
Far Eastern University gave La Salle a dose of its own medicine as it pulled off a thrilling come-from behind win Thursday.
The Tamaraws battled back from a 9-point deficit with less than six minutes left in regulation play but needed two extra periods to repulse the young Green Archers, 84-80, and remain unbeaten in the 73rd UAAP basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Facing the prospects of absorbing their first defeat, sophomore guard RR Garcia stepped up big time, forcing the first overtime after completing his steal off Simon Atkins with 9.2 seconds left in regulation.
Paul Sanga then took charge in the second extra period when he broke a 74-74 count with a putback off a missed jumper by Aldrech Ramos before hitting two of three foul shots after being fouled from the rainbow country by Joshua Webb for a 78-74 lead with 2:48 remaining.
Atkins later scored to slice the lead in half but, Garcia, struggling for most of the second half, reemerged anew by coming through with a razor-sharp assist to Cameroonian Pipo Noundou for a three-point play then scored a teardrop shot with 63 ticks to go that made it an 83-76 lead. The Archers never recovered after that.
The Archers, who beat fierce rival Ateneo, 66-63, after rallying from a similar deficit last Saturday, took a 64-55 lead with 5:53 left but faded away down the stretch.
By pulling off an escape act, the Tamaraws kept their solo lead with a perfect 5-0 card.
FEU coach Glenn Capacio, however, blasted game officials, saying his wards were distracted by their inconsistent calls.
In the second game, University of Santo Tomas leaned on the red-hot hot shooting of Clark Bautista, Jeric Fortuna and Melo Afuang to squeeze past National University, 59-58, and draw leve lwith La Salle for third to fourth places with identical 3-2 slates.
FEU 84 – Garcia 18, Cruz 16, Noundou 14, Cervantes 12, Ramos 5, Bringas 4, Sanga 4, Exciminiano 4, Cawaling 4, Romeo 3, Mendoza 0, Knuttel 0.
LA SALLE 80 – Webb 17, Marata 16, Andrada 13, Villanueva 11, Tolentino 7, Atkins 5, Paredes 4, de la Paz 4, Mendoza 3, Vosotros 0, Tampus 0, Ferdinand 0.
Quarters: 17-14; 30-38; 51-53; 68-68 (Reg); 74-74 (1st OT); 84-80 (2nd OT).
UST 59 – Afuang 15, Bautista 14, Camus 11, Teng 6, Fortuna 6, Pe 4, Mariano 3, Wong 0, Tinte 0, Mamaril 0, Lo 0, Daquioag 0, Aytona 0.
NU 58 – Ponferrada 12, Baloran 11, Mbe 10, Terso 8, Hermosisima 6, Ludovice 4, Tungcul 3, Khobuntin 2, Javillonar 2, Ignacio 0, Eriobu 0, Singh 0, Malanday 0, Magat 0.
Quarters: 13-10; 22-25; 38-41; 59-58.
Games Saturday (Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. UE vs UP
4 p.m. NU vs Ateneo