FAR Eastern University struggled with a 20-point deficit at the end of first quarter against University of the Philippines last Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, but Raymar Jose took the lead to save the Tamaraws from an upset loss.
Jose had a big outing against the Tamaraws as he finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead FEU to a 63-60 win over UP, extending their win streak to seven games in the UAAP Season 79.
The Tamaraws fell behind big early, 28-8, at the end of the first quarter but they caught up with the Maroons with a late run, capped by the FEU big man scoring two crucial baskets in crunch time to take a 63-57 lead with 1:30 left in the game. The Tams, then, banked on their defense to seal the win.
“We were passive from the start. Coach told us that if we want to win the game, we need to work hard for it,” said Jose, who was adjudged the ACCEL Quantum/3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week.
With Jose’s performance, FEU strengthened its hold of the second spot with 8-2 win-loss record, enough to clinch at least a playoff for the Final Four.
Jose defeated Adamson's Papi Sarr, La Salle’s Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng and Ateneo’s Rafael Verano for the weekly citation given by scribes from broadsheets, tabloids, and online portals covering the UAAP beat.
Jose also joined Monbert Arong as the two FEU players who won the weekly plum.
Despite the win over UP, FEU coach Nash Racela made it clear he wants his wards to play consistent basketball if the Tamaraws want to go deep in the tournament.
“It’s good that the players responded in the second quarter defensively. But we need to play good basketball for 40 minutes for us to really have a good chance every game,” said Racela.