FAR Eastern University gave fancied University of the Philippines the boot in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup as it took a 72-63 victory on Tuesday in San Juan.
Bryan Sajonia drained 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Tamaraws used a 28-point finishing flurry to pull the rug from under the undermanned Fighting Maroons.
"I think we got quality production from other guys. That's not the whole team of UP out there, but of course, we're happy with the way our team competed," said coach Olsen Racela after FEU arranged a semifinals clash against Group B leader La Salle on Thursday.
Sajonia also got five rebounds, five assists, and two steals for FEU which pounced on the absences of Carl Tamayo, who is with Gilas Pilipinas in Lebanon for the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, as well as Zavier Lucero and Henry Galinato.
But their absence can't anything away from the Tamaraws, who fought back from a 45-35 hole in the third quarter until Patrick Tchuente's tip-in gave them the 58-57 lead with 3:28 left.
That was part of FEU's 20-6 run that turned a 55-48 deficit with 8:19 left to a seven-point lead, 68-61, in the last 1:21 courtesy of a Sajonia three.
L-Jay Gonzales added 13 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists for the Tamaraws. Royce Alforque came off the bench and added 13 points and three boards, and Tchuente had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Without its top guys up front, UP leaned on Bismarck Lina's 13 points and seven boards and Malick Diouf's double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
FEU 72 -- Sajonia 16, Gonzales 13, Alforque 13, Tchuente 11, Bagunu 7, Sandagon 4, Tempra 4, Celzo 2, Songcuya 2, Torres 0, Gravera 0, Guibao 0, Ona 0, Montemayor 0.
UP 63 -- Lina 13, Diouf 12, Catapusan 9, Calimag 8, Cagulangan 7, Eusebio 3, Alarcon 3, Abadiano 2, Gonzales 2, Fortea 2, Ramos 2, Torculas 0.
Quarters: 19-15, 30-29, 44-52, 72-63.