DEFENDING champion Far Eastern University, Mapua, and Ateneo won in contrasting fashions to keep a share of the lead in the 6th FCBL-Freego Cup at the Philippine Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.
With Richard Escoto and Wendelino Comboy presiding over FEU’s bristling assault, the Baby Tamaraws overpowered the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs, 80-62, to remain on top of the nine-team tournament.
Escoto led the Baby Tamaraws with 21 points, but it was the scrappy Comboy who struck hardest as he scored all his 10 points in a decisive second-quarter run that saw the reigning UAAP champion zoom to a commanding 56-23 lead at halftime.
On the other hand, the Blue Eaglets went through the wringer before pulling off a 78-74 come-from-behind win over National University in the featured match of the event also sponsored by Smart, Fresh Gear, Colt Commercial, Powerbest Mrkg. Inc., Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Hapee Toothpaste and Insular Square of Cebu.
In notching their second straight win, the Blue Eaglets went to Thirdy Ravena, Mike Nieto, and Jime Escaler at crunch time to complete their impressive comeback from several double-digit deficit in the first half.
Nieto was extra hot in the fourth quarter, scattering 12 points to finish with 20, while Ravena, who starred in the team’s opening win over Chiang Kai Shek College, added 19.
Mapua was equally impressive as the Red Robins, starring Noah Lugo and Daniel Aguirre, demolished many-time Tiong Lian champions CKSC Blue Dragons, 76-54.
Meantime, Jose Rizal University rebounded from its opening game defeat at the hands of NU by drubbing University of the East, 63-53.