FAR Eastern University clinched a Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball after beating University of the East, 71-67, on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws claimed the solo lead with a 9-1 win-loss slate to capture the first seat in the semifinals.
Mac Belo scored 16 points, while Roger Pogoy added 12 points, with the two contributing 10 each in the final period.
Pogoy also hit a dagger triple that sparked a 7-0 blast and put the Tamaraws ahead, 69-65, with 1:32 left in the fourth.
Nick Abanto sliced FEU’s gap to two points, 69-67, but missed two shots in the end, with Achie Inigo hitting two free throws to settle the score.
“To tell you honestly, it’s not on our minds. We know that we are going to get into the Final Four so why bother think about it. We just want to focus on the next game,” said FEU coach Nash Racela.
FEU, which has won eight straight outings, took first place with University of Santo Tomas dropping to 8-2 with its loss to Ateneo on Wednesday.
The Tamaraws next face Adamson on Wednesday.
Bon Batiller had 13 points for UE, which failed to hold on to a seven-point lead. The Red Warriors have lost six of their last seven games and fell to 3-7.
FEU 71 - Belo 16, Pogoy 12, Inigo 11, Jose 8, Orizu 8, Ru. Escoto 6, Ri. Escoto 4, Tolomia 4, Arong 2, Comboy 0, Dennison 0, Tamsi 0, Trinidad 0.
UE 67 - Batiller 13, Charcos 10, P. Varilla 10, Abanto 8, Derige 8, J. Varilla 7, Javier 5, Manalang 3, Palma 2, De Leon 1, Gonzales 0, Sta. Ana 0.
Quarterscores: 18-19; 34-34; 53-55; 71-67.