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Tamaraws slip past Maroons

FAR Eastern University (FEU) survived a big scare from University of the Philippines (UP) for a 67-63 win in the 75th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball competition on Thursday at the PhilSports Arena.

The Tamaraws needed big baskets from Anthony Hargrove and Roger Pogoy down the stretch to hold off the pesky Fighting Maroons and clinch a playoff for a Final Four spot.

The win also put FEU in a tie with University of Santo Tomas for the second spot with a 9-3 win-loss record, while it was the sixth-straight loss for UP, which fell deeper in the cellar with a 1-12 record.

“Buti na lang nanalo. Kahit four points ’yan, panalo pa rin. Na-control namin boards pero marami lang kami turnovers ngayon,” said Tamaraw head coach Bert Flores, who could have clinched the semifinal ticket with this victory if not for a UAAP board decision for them to replay their won match with National University.

“Importanteng game ’yung sa Sunday. Kahit sa panalong ito, hindi ka pa rin sigurado,” added Flores, referring to their match against De La Salle at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

FEU barely escaped the upset-conscious Fighting Maroons with Alvin Padilla giving the Diliman-based dribblers the lead at 61-60 with 5:02 remaining.

After Terrence Romeo sank two free throws to give the lead back to the Tamaraws, 62-61, Raul Soyud scored on a runner to put UP ahead anew, 63-62, 2:24 remaining in the game.

But the Maroons never scored again and Hargrove and Pogoy finished off UP with key baskets.

Pogoy continued his consistent game for FEU with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Romeo added 13 markers.

Mike Silungan led the Maroons with 12 markers but was four-of-11 from the field. Padilla had 11 for the Ricky Dandan-mentored UP five.

Arvie Bringas returned from a two-game suspension, one handed by the UAAP for spitting at Ateneo’s Justin Chua and the other imposed by FEU, and contributed three points and three rebounds. He was again slapped a flagrant foul on Diony Hipolito that irked Flores.

“Di ko alam kung ano ang mangyayari kay Bringas. ’Di ko maintindihan eh. Ipapasok ko na nga sa UFC,” the FEU mentor said.


In Photo: The Maroons’ Michael Silungan beats the Tamaraws’ Ryan Roose Garcia for an easy lay-up. (Nonoy Lacza)

 

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