XYRUS Torres drained the biggest buckets as Far Eastern University outlasted La Salle, 71-67 in overtime on Thursday in San Juan and advanced to the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup Finals.
The third-year shooter scored the go-ahead putback off a missed three from L-Jay Gonzales with 1:05 to play before making the game-sealing freebies with three seconds left after Evan Nelle turned the ball over late for La Salle.
The Green Archers now meet the NU Bulldogs in a one-game finale on Saturday.
"I always just tell them na play every possession and that will give us a chance to stay close. In the end kung suswertehin, baka makaisa. I think that's what happened during the game," said coach Olsen Racela after FEU reached the championship of the preseason showcase for the first time since 2010.
Torres finished with eight points and six rebounds in another balanced attack for the Morayta crew, which only lost once since starting the tournament at 0-2 and ended up stopping La Salle's eight-game win streak.
Patrick Tchuente poured in eight of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, alongside eight boards, three assists, and three blocks.
Gonzales also orchestrated the heist with a near-triple-double performance of 13 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists after his side trailed by as big as 10 points, 22-12 early.
Kevin Quiambao led La Salle with 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists, but failed to convert on his potential go-ahead three in the final minute.
CJ Austria tallied 11 points, seven boards, and four dimes, as Michael Phillips contributed 10 points, six rebounds, and five blocks, but committed five of the Taft side's 20 turnovers.
La Salle, though, will take home the third place with Adamson forfeiting the bronze medal game due to prior commitments in Surigao.
FEU 71 - Tchuente 19, Gonzales 13, Alforque 10, Torres 8, Sajonia 6, Bagunu 5, Guibao 4, Sandagon 4, Tempra 2, Gravera 0, Celzo 0, Songcuya 0.
LA SALLE 67 - Quiambao 13, Austria 11, M. Phillips 10, Winston 9, Nwankwo 8, Nelle 6, B. Phillips 4, Manuel 4, Cortez 2, Escandor 0, Estacio 0, Macalalag 0, Buensalida 0.
Quarters: 9-16, 28-31, 42-46, 61-61, 71-67.
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