FAR Eastern University gained back a share of the lead in Season 77 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament after beating University of Santo Tomas, 66-55, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws won their fourth straight game as they climbed back once again at first place for a tie with idle Ateneo and first-game winner De La Salle, all with similar 7-2 win-loss card.
Roger Pogoy had 19 points while Mark Belo added 12 and eight rebounds for the Tamaraws, who cemented their hold of a possible top two finish in the Final Four by winning their second round encounter over the Tigers.
“The focus of the players, nandoon today,” said coach Nash Racela. “Before we went out of the dugout, ang sabi namin, if there is any good sa panalo today, it will be getting back at UST kasi tinalo kami nung first round and maybe a slot in the Final Four.”
FEU won despite Mike Tolomia seeing limited minutes as the star forward is ‘under the weather,’ according to Racela. He didn’t play the entire second half.
But the Tamaraws didn’t find any need for Tolomia as they jumpstarted to a 24-7 lead in the first period, a big lead which they never relinquished and even ballooned to as much as 25 points.
The loss was the Tigers’ fourth in five outings as they dropped to a 4-5 win-loss slate without leader Kevin Ferrer, who missed the game with a fractured left hand.
Karim Abdul had 24 points and 16 rebounds for the struggling Tigers.
FEU (66) -- Pogoy 19, Belo 12, Inigo 8, Jose 8, Ru. Escoto 5, Hargrove 5, Tolomia 4, Dennison 2, Tamsi 2, Ugsang 1, Cruz 0, Denila 0, David 0, Lee Yu 0, Delfinado 0.
UST (55) -- Abdul 24, Vigil 17, Sheriff 8, Daquioag 4, Basibas 2, Lao 0, Mariano 0, Pe 0, Subido 0, Lo 0.
Quarterscores: 24-7; 42-25; 59-37; 66-55.