TERRENCE ROMEO had a season-high 32 points as Far Eastern University secured a spot in the UAAP Final Four after defeating Adamson, 92-80, in Saturday's men’s basketball game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws improved their win-loss record to 9-4, with Romeo eclipsing his previous high of 30 against University of the East in a double overtime thriller last August 25.
More important, the Tamaraws booked a return trip to the semifinals after missing the postseason last year that led to an overhaul in the team's coaching staff.
“We just go back to where we belong,” FEU coach Nash Racela said.
Mark Belo added 18 points and nine rebounds, while RR Garcia added 14 for the Tamaraws, who broke away from a tie with idle La Salle for second place.
“Alam naman namin na hindi pa tapos ang trabaho namin. The only thing that I wrote sa board was F4 (Final Four), just to remind them that it was our initial goal,” said Racela.
“We told them that it is within our reach. All we have to do is target it. Today, we took a major step towards our eventual goal,” he added.
FEU is still in contention for the top spot as the Tamaraws wrap up their elimination-round schedule on September 11 against University of the Philippines.
FEU won despite missing a key piece to its frontcourt in Anthony Hargrove, who was slapped with a one-game suspension for an unsportsmanlike foul.
The Tamaraws made their push in the third quarter with a 19-5 start for a commanding 63-45 lead.
Don Trollano had 25 points for the Falcons, who fell to 4-9.
FEU (92) – Romeo 32, Belo 18, Garcia 14, Cruz 8, Mendoza 7, Tolomia 5, Sentcheu 2, Pogoy 2, Lee Yu 2, Jose 2, Inigo 0, Luz 0, Dennison 0, Delfinado 0, Aguilon 0.
Adamson (80) – Trollano 25, Cruz 13, Rios 11, Brondial 9, Inigo 7, Sewa 6, Petilos 3, Cabrera 3, Cabigas 2, Monteclaro 1, Ochea 0, Julkipli 0, Agustin 0.
Quarterscores: 21-23; 44-40; 67-55; 92-80.