FAR Eastern University's Mike Tolomia wasn't expected to come out a hundred percent against La Salle after a fever forced him to play limited minutes in his previous outing.
Still, the 5-foot-11 guard gave it his all as the Tamaraws snapped the Green Archers' seven-game winning streak, 74-70, on Wednesday to grab the solo No. 1 spot in the UAAP men's basketball tournament.
"Nakalabas s'ya ng hospital ng Tuesday at hinabol niya yung practice namin. Di ko rin alam what to expect from him," said FEU coach Nash Racela.
Tolomia finished with 22 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while also starring in the game-winning play against the Green Archers where he scored the putback off his own miss at the foul line in the final 5.9 seconds.
Three days later, Tolomia was at it again, finishing with 19 points and five boards before fouling out as FEU sank University of the Philippines, 75-69, to stay on top of the standings with a 9-2 slate.
The big games earned Tolomia his first UAAP Press Corps-Accel Quantum Plus/3XVI Player of the Week honor this season.
Tolomia edged Ateneo's Kiefer Ravena, University of the East's Charles Mammie, and La Salle's Jason Perkins for the weekly plum supported by Bactigel Hand Sanitizer, Mighty Mom Dishwashing and Dr. J Rubbing Alcohol.
“I think nagagawa ko nang mas ma-involve yung teammates ko. Hopefully, magtuloy-tuloy,” said Tolomia.
The Tamaraws try to nail the first semifinal berth against Adamson minus Racela this Wednesday.
“Itutuloy pa rin namin yung sistema na iniwan ni coach sa amin,” said Tolomia. “Magiging ok naman kami.”
“I always believed in the potential of my team,” said Racela, who joined the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff in the Fiba World Cup in Spain. “Our team is based on trust. Right now, meron na kaming malaking trust sa isa't isa na kahit mawala ang isa, alam naming kayang punan ng iba.”