FAR Eastern University-Diliman became the third squad to book its ticket to the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball tournament, turning back University of the Philippines Integrated School, 87-65, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
RR Tolentino had 20 points, seven rebounds and a steal as the Baby Tamaraws remained in the hunt for a top two spot as they improved to 9-3, level with Ateneo.
FEU-Diliman coach Allan Albano emphasized the importance of the last two games in his team's quest, especially with his boys on a possible collision course against the Blue Eaglets.
"Mahirap na kung si Ateneo yung magkaroon ng advantage," he said. "Inconsistent kami ngayon. Yun ang kailangan namin, consistency. Hopefully, makabalik kami."
Xyrus Torres got himself going from deep, shooting 3 for 9 from downtown, while also grabbing three rebounds and two assists. Jorick Bautista had 11 points and seven rebounds, as Miguel Ona scored 11 points as well for the Baby Tamaraws.
RJ Abarrientos took the back seat in the affair, scoring only two points, but still making his presence felt with 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
FEU-Diliman jumped on UPIS in the second quarter, turning a tight 20-17 advantage to a commanding 44-32 halftime edge.
Ralph Labao showed the way for the Junior Maroons with 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a steal, while King Vergiere got 13 points, 10 boards and five dimes but committed 12 turnovers.
UPIS dropped its fourth straight assignment and fell to a 1-11 win-loss record.
FEU 87 - Tolentino 20, Torres 15, J. Bautista 11, Ona 11, Sajonia 7, Alforque 6, Anonuevo 6, Sleat 5, Abarrientos 2, Bagunu 2, Bradley 2, S. Bautista 0, Libago 0, Armendez 0, Barasi 0.
UPIS 65 - Labao 19, Vergiere 13, Estrera 13, Torres 10, Tuazon 10, Gomez de Liano 0, Galotera 0, Napalang 0, Lopez 0, Armamento 0, Abreu 0.
Quarterscores: 20-17; 44-32; 66-43; 87-65.