FAR Eastern University lived up to the hype—at least on Sunday when it trampled Ateneo, 88-64, for a rousing start to its UAAP Season 78 campaign at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws, tagged as preseason favorites, flashed their depth and firepower on the way to a wire-to-wire victory that gained them a share of the early lead with University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, and La Salle.
Roger Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, and Mac Belo delivered as expected, while Raymar Jose provided the biggest spark off the bench as the quartet combined for 68 points to outscore the Blue Eagles’ entire output by four points.
“We were just fortunate today,” Tamaraws coach Nash Racela said. “Outside shots were going in especially at the start of the ballgame.”
“Kung ma-susustain namin ‘yun the whole season, that would be good, but I don’t think it will happen,” added Racela, whose team shot a solid 51.4 percent as a unit.
The Tamaraws, who seek to get over the hump after finishing runner-up to National University last season, also did a splendid defensive job as they limited the Eagles to 30.7-percent shooting.
FEU’s defense was particularly evident on Kiefer Ravena, who was held scoreless in the fourth quarter after the Ateneo star registered 25 points in the first three periods.
Pogoy, Tolomia, and Belo heated up early, then Jose capped off the Tamaraws’ onslaught by scoring 11 of his 16 points in the payoff period where FEU kept the Eagles at bay.
FEU 88 – Pogoy 19, Tolomia 17, Belo 16, Jose 16, Escoto 6, Arong 5, Inigo 5, Dennison 4, Escoto 0, Holmqvist 0, Orizu 0, Tamsi 0, Trinidad 0
ADMU 64 – Ravena 25, Capacio 14, Pessumal 9, Gotladera 6, Wong 4, Cani 2, Ikeh 2, A. Tolentino 2, Babilonia 0, Ma. Nieto 0, Mi. Nieto 0, Pingoy 0, M. Tolentino 0
Quarterscores: 23-11, 44-26, 64-49, 88-64