FAR Eastern University (FEU) survived a potential fourth-quarter meltdown to beat University of the East (UE), 90-83, for its first win in Season 80 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball cation on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Red Warriors trailed most of the way and appeared headed to getting routed, but woke up in the final period to trim the Tamaraws’ lead to 82-74.
FEU’s senior player Ron Dennison, however, scored six straight points to douse the UE uprising and give the Tamaraws an 88-76 breather with 2:18 to go.
UE stayed at striking distance at 88-80 after Clark Derige made two free throws and Philip Manalang sank a fade-away jumper in the final two-minute mark. But Ken Tuffin sealed the win for FEU, 90-80, with only nine seconds to play.
Dennison finished with 16 points on 54-percent shooting and also had four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block.
Orizu dropped 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds before fouling out when the result was already decided. Richard Escoto, Barkley Ebona and Arvin Tolentino added 11 points for FEU.
“We addressed our slow start that cost us our first game to De La Salle because we cannot afford to have a slow start and catch up the whole game,” FEU Head Coach Olsen Racela said on his first victory in the league, bouncing back from his 90-95 defeat to the Green Archers last Sunday.
“In this game, we had a good start but we needed to recover in the end. It just shows that we need to improve more, especially in defense,” Racela added.
FEU entered the payoff period with a 75-64 spread but flirted with disasters and committed several fouls—they had a total 34 in the game—and succumbed to turnovers that allowed UE to unleash a 9-5 run and move in at 80-73,with six minutes to remaining.
“That’s what I’m saying, we need to improve defensively. We have to be disciplined on the defensive end,” Racela added.
Derige led UE with 22 points, while Alvin Pasaol made nine of 12 shots on free throws for 13 points on top of his six rebounds and four assists before he fouled out midway the fourth quarter.
The Red Warriors suffered their second straight lost—they took a 69-86 setback to National University on opening day.
The Red Warriors only tasted the lead at 3-0 as they could not stop FEU’s offense to trail, 11-28, after the first quarter.
FEU led by as many as 46-28—capped by a four-point play by RJ Ramirez and back-to-back triples by Arvin Tolentino—with 2:47 left before the half.
A 14-6 UE run trimmed the gap to 52-42 at the break.