FAR Eastern University unleashed a crippling 23-6 blast bridging the fourth period and overtime as it nosed out De La Salle University, 83-79, on Saturday to maintain its immaculate record in UAAP Season 76 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws went up, 4-0, the lone unbeaten team in the tournament. But they had to earn the win against the Green Archers, who managed to keep up with the veteran roster of new FEU coach Nash Racela.
“La Salle had a very great game plan kasi naka-counter nila ginagawa namin. It took us a while though the good thing was my players knew how to execute in the end,” said Racela.
Racela said he gave no special instructions for his wards, especially after La Salle established its largest lead at 73-60 on a three-pointer from Luigi Manlapaz with 2:38 to go in the fourth period.
“All I told them was, ‘anong ggawin natin, bibigay ba tyo?’ It was good because they responded. We just did a little adjustment defensively,” he added.
Terrence Romeo led the Tamaraws with 25 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals, RR Garcia and Mark Belo did much of the damage in the end.
Garcia scored four of his 19 points in the extra period, while Belo finished with a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds, including the game-tying layup that forged the overtime at 75-all.
The Green Archers have no one else to blame but themselves as they could shoot 50 percent from the foul line (13-of-26).
La Salle’s top guard Jeron Teng finished the game with 25 points and 15 rebounds, but he went just two-of-six from the free throws in the extra five minutes that hastened the team’s downfall.
The Green Archers dropped to 2-2.
FEU 83- Romeo 25, Garcia 19, Belo 10, Tolomia 9, Pogoy 9, Hargrove 4, Cruz 4, Mendoza 2, Jose 1, Sentcheu 0.
La Salle 79- Teng 25, Van Opstal 20, Perkins 10, Dela Paz 9, Vosotros 8, T. Torres 4, Revilla 3, N. Torres 0, Tampus 0, Reyes 0, Montalbo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-21; 35-34; 54-58; 75-75; 83-79.