MIKE Tolomia led Far Eastern University to an opening-day 82-77 upset of defending champion La Salle on Saturday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Tolomia had 20 of his 23 points in the second half as the Tamaraws used a 12-5 endgame run to overcome the Green Archers. Tolomia scored eight points in the run that enabled FEU to turn a 67-69 deficit into a 75-71 lead.
He also dished out an assist that led to a Carl Bryan Cruz basket to seal the win, 81-77, with 29.2 seconds left in the fourth.
The Tamaraws came storming back after a slow start that saw them trail 2-9. It was a revenge of sort for the FEU squad that lost in the Final Four to the Green Archers.
“We started very slow. But as coaches, wala kaming magawa dahil opening game, may gigil factor. We allowed them to play,” said FEU coach Nash Racela.
“Slowly, nakita nila ’yung game, na-feel nila ’yung konti, doon na kami naka-recover,” Racela said.
Mark Belo scored 20 points, Russel Escoto tallied 13 markers, and Cruz finished with 11 points for the Tamaraws, who are now without former UAAP MVPs Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia.
“Kapag nakita mo, iba-ibang mukha ang nakita mo sa FEU. That’s our responsibility as coaches,” Racela said.
Almond Vosotros had 18 points while Jeron Teng added 14 for the Green Archers, who shot 25-of-68 from the field.
FEU (82) – Tolomia 23, Belo 20, Ru. Escoto 13, Cruz 11, Pogoy 6, Inigo 3, Jose 3, Hargrove 2, Tamsi 0, Dennison 0, Ri. Escoto 0, Denila 0.
DLSU (77) – Vosotros 18, Teng 14, Perkins 11, T. Torres 9, Van Opstal 7, Montalbo 6, Tratter 2, Sargent 2, Rivero 2, Bolick 0, Andrada 0.
Quarterscores: 10-23; 33-37; 57-59; 82-77.