FAR Eastern University survived University of the Philippines’ late fightback, 71-66, on Saturday in the FilOil Preseason Hanes Cup at The Arena in San Juan Arena.
From a 12-point deficit, 62-50, the Fighting Maroons rallied and came up with 10 points while holding FEU to only one free throw from Anthony Hargrove.
UP cut down its deficit to three, 60-63, behind Chris Ball and Joseph Marata. Ball drained a triple and Marata hit seven straight with 3:55 left to play in the fourth quarter.
Raul Soyud scored on a layup with 1:20 on the clock to make it 66-69, but RR Garcia's layup with 26 seconds remaining sealed the win for FEU, which now holds a 3-2 win-loss record in Group A.
"Bad start kami kaya nabigyan namin sila ng chance magka kumpyansa," said Mike Tolomia, who finished with 15 points for the Tamaraws.
UP was actually in the drivers' seat, 36-32, at the half but could not keep control.
All but two players who were fielded scored for FEU. Terrence Romeo was not feeling well and skipped the match.
"We're trying to give all guys playing minutes, because FilOil is our preparation for UAAP as much as possible I want to give everyone exposure," said FEU coach Nash Racela. "Yung setback lang di maka-kuha ng flow. Good thing in the end game we were able to pull through."
Hargrove had nine markers, while Garcia and Russel Escoto added eight points apiece.
Marata came through with 23 points, while Ball had 17 for UP, which is winless in four outings.
FEU 71: Tolomia 15, Hargrove 9, Garcia 8, Escoto 8, Mendoza 6, Dennison 6, Pogoy 5, Belo 4, Cruz 4, Iñigo 2, Sentcheu 2, Jose 2, Aguilon 0, Lee 0.
UP 66: Marata 23, Ball 17, Soyud 8, Pascual 7, Gingerich 3, Reyes 2, Asilum 2, Lao 2, Gallarza 1, Desiderio 1, Wong 0, Amar 0, Ligad 0, Suarez 0, Paras 0, Harris 0.
Quarterscores: 16-14; 32-36; 52-48; 71-66.