FAR Eastern University kept its record unblemished and regained the solo lead by defeating University of the Philippines, 75-57, on Sunday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Terrence Romeo had a double-double as the Tamaraws moved back to the top of the standings with a 3-0 win-loss slate. University of Santo Tomas, which claimed its second win on Saturday against Adamson, is in second at 2-0.
Romeo finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while RR Garcia had 15 points including five in a pivotal second-quarter run that set the stage for the lopsided finish.
Romeo also doused a UP run to start the fourth, scoring the first five points in a 9-0 run to clinch the victory and move one win closer to duplicating last season’s 4-0 start.
“At this point, we need to control our emotions,” said Racela. “Just like what we always remind them, last year we were 4-0 (to start the year). 3-0 is nothing compared to 4-0.”
Mike Tolomia added 10 points for the Tamaraws, who also got six rebounds and five blocks from Cameroonian center Christian Sentcheu.
After a 23-12 lead to start the first quarter, FEU finished the second on a rampage with a 14-0 run to grab a 41-21 lead.
The Maroons were able to trim the deficit to 12 points on a 9-0 start, 50-62, but Romeo hit a jumper and a triple for a 67-50 lead.
“We were trying to guard against complacency. Over the last few years, UP had losing seasons … Pero all I remember is the UP team that beat Ateneo in 2009,” said Racela.
Raul Soyud was the lone double-digit scorer with 10 points but grabbed 10 rebounds for the Maroons, who remained winless in three games. Chris Ball had 19 rebounds and two blocks.
FEU (75) – Romeo 20, Garcia 15, Tolomia 10, Cruz 8, Mendoza 6, Jose 6, Belo 6, Inigo 2, Aguilon 2, Sentcheu 0, Pogoy 0, Luz 0, Lee Yu 0, Hargrove 0, Delfinado 0.
UP (57) – Soyud 10, Ball 9, Lao 7, Amar 6, Wong 4, Marata 4, Gallarza 4, Desiderio 4, Gingerich 3, Suarez 2, Pascual 2, Asilum 2, Paras 0, Ligad 0, Harris 0.
Quarterscores: 23-12; 41-21; 62-41; 75-57.