FAR Eastern University booked the last semifinal berth in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament after defeating Adamson, 71-54, on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws finished the eliminations with a 7-7 win-loss slate to claim the fourth seed in the Final Four.
The FEU win also eliminated University of the Philippines, which earlier beat National University for a 6-8 record.
Several UP fans, hoping for a Maroons playoff against the Tamaraws, stayed at the venue for the second game but were left disappointed.
The Falcons, who have earlier secured the No. 3 spot, finished the elimination round with a 9-5 record.
Arvin Tolentino had 14 points, while Richard Escoto had 11 points, scoring five in a 7-0 run that allowed the Tamaraws to pull away in the third period, 50-40.
Prince Orizu had eight of his 10 points in the fourth period to sustain FEU’s lead.
“Natutuwa kami,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela. “I have to hand it to the players. They never gave up, they never wavered doon sa kanilang kagustuhang mag-Final Four.”
FEU had a chance to secure a Final Four berth earlier, but the Tamaraws were defeated in three of their last four games before the Adamson match.
“’Yung game namin against UP, kung napanalo namin ’yun pasok na sana kami. That game against NU also. But I have to hand it to them. Hindi sila nag-give up at buong buo ’yung kanilang puso na maka-abot sa Final Four,” Racela said.
Robbie Manalang had 15 points, while Papi Sarr added 10 points for the Falcons, who missed the services of Jerrick Ahanmisi and Jerie Pingoy due to ankle injuries.
FEU 71 – Tolentino 14, Escoto 11, Orizu 10, Parker 9, Comboy 9, Inigo 7, Cani 5, Trinidad 2, Ebona 2, Bayquin 2, Dennison 0, Tuffin 0.
Adamson 54 – Manalang 15, Sarr 10, Camacho 7, Lojera 4, Ochea 4, Bernardo 4, Espeleta 3, Pingoy 3, Hill 2, Ahanmisi 2, Paranada 0, Manganti 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17; 35-32; 52-44; 71-54.