JOEL Lee Yu hit two crucial foul shots to help Far Eastern University hold off the Philippine Under-18 youth team, 74-73, on Monday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Lee Yu nailed the charities with 5.4 seconds left after Joshua Caracut committed a turnover at the backcourt, allowing the Tamaraws to steal the victory from the Nationals, who are using the preseason tournament as part of their preparation for the Fiba-Asia Under-18 championship in Doha this August.
The Tamaraws sparingly used their top players in the crucial stretch and almost paid dearly for it as their second stringers gave up 12 straight points to the Nationals late in the game.
“Siyempre, gusto rin naming manalo but at the same time, we really want to learn a lot come the UAAP season,” said FEU coach Nash Racela. “’Yung mga ganung instances din sila matututo.”
Jollo Go hit a four-point play and Henri Asilum buried a triple with two minutes left to complete the Nationals’ 12-0 run that put them ahead, 73-72.
Caracut, however, threw an errant pass as he yielded to FEU’s pressure defense in the final seconds, leading to Lee Yu’s game-winning free throws.
Go missed the potential game-winning jumper in the Nationals’ final possession.
The Tamaraws, who only won by three points in the Fr. Martin Cup against the world championship-bound Under-17 squad on Sunday, were ahead 36-31 at halftime after losing a double-digit lead in the early goings.
“We were telling them that our national team is joining the Filoil league because they want to learn how to compete against stronger teams. Utang na loob sa atin ng national team na tulungan sila," Racela said.
“By playing very soft and not giving our best (in the first half), hindi namin sila natutulungan. That is why pinush din namin sila.”
Raymar Jose had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Mike Tolomia added 11 points, four rebounds, and five assists for the Tamaraws.
FEU (74) – Jose 12, Tolomia 11, Pogoy 8, Escoto 8, Padilla 7, Belo 6, Lee Yu 5, Tamsi 5, Ugsang 5, Cruz 4, Belga 2, Dennison 1, David 0.
Philippine U18 (73) – Caracut 17, Tongco 13, Asilum 10, Desiderio 8, Santillan 7, Dyke 5, Subido 5, Go 4, Escoto 2, Manguera 2, Ochea 0, Manguera 0, Balanza 0, Senining 0, San Juan 0, Rivero 0, Armenion 0.
Quarterscores: 20-12; 36-31; 59-51; 74-73.