FAR Eastern University overcame a 20-point first quarter deficit to beat University of the Philippines, 63-60, on Saturday and secure at least a playoff for a semifinal berth in the UAAP Season 79 basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws trailed 8-28 at the end of the first quarter but survived the sluggish start, extended their winning streak to seven games and improved their mark to 8-2, second-best behind unbeaten La Salle.
The Maroons absorbed their second straight loss for a 3-8 record.
Raymar Jose had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Tamaraws, who played for the first time since it was reported that coach Nash Racela is headed to the PBA to handle TNT Ka-Tropa.
“We knew from the start that it will be really, really hard playing a team like UP. They are really energized in the second round,” said Racela.
The Tamaraws finally took the lead when they started with a triple by Kenneth Tuffin to break a 46-46 tie, the basket starting an 11-2 run in the fourth period.
Jett Manuel had 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the Maroons.
FEU 63 — Jose 20, Trinidad 9, Arong 8, Inigo 7, Orizu 6, Ebona 5, Tuffin 4, Comboy 2, Holmqvist 2, Escoto 0, Dennison 0, Denila 0, Bayquin 0.
UP 60 — Manuel 16, Desiderio 13, Prado 10, Lim 5, Harris 4, Gomez De Liano 3, Dario 3, Moralde 2, Webb 2, Vito 2, Asilum 0, Jaboneta 0, Romero 0.
Quarterscores: 8-28; 27-36; 46-46; 63-60.