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Tamaraws Foil Maroons' Upset Bid with Endgame Surge

By Ivan Saldajeno

The FEU Tamaraws escaped in the endgame as they stopped the UP Fighting Maroons, 75-69, at the resumption of the UAAP men's basketball games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tamaraws, who were without head coach Nash Racela to be with the coaching staff of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Cup, scored the last seven points of the game as the Fighting Maroons lost steam in the end.

Coached by Racela's associate Eric Gonzales, FEU was actually poised to pull away after a 15-2 run spanning the first two quarters turned a 13-16 deficit to a 28-18 lead.

UP, however, answered with a 17-4 run later in the second period to retake the advantage, 35-32.

Roger Pogoy, however, scored a three-pointer to tie the game at the half, 35-35.

The Maroons opened the second half with four straight points, but the Tams answered with six unanswered.

The action went seesaw until FEU scored eight points in succession to open a 53-46 lead late in the third frame.

But back-to-back triples from Diego Dario and Dave Moralde drew UP to within one at the end of the third quarter.

It was a seesaw action again in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter before five straight FEU points put the team up, 68-64.

UP, however, took the five points back after Mikee Reyes' triple and Dario's three-pointer give the team the upper hand again, 69-68.

Achie Iñigo, however, fired the go-ahead triple with 1:41 left to put the Tams ahead again, 71-69.

Moralde badly missed a game-tying layup on the other end, while Mac Belo sealed FEU's win with a jumper in the next play.

Iñigo made two free throws in the next FEU offensive after UP misfired again for the final tally.

Mike Tolomia led the Tamaraws with 19 points and five rebounds, while Belo added 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and a block.

JR Gallarza scored a team-high 18 points on 5/7 shooting along with five rebounds, two steals, and a block for the Fighting Maroons.

Box Scores:

FEU 75-Tolomia 19, Belo 14, Hargrove 11, Iñigo 8, Pogoy 7, Cruz 7, Lee Yu 5, Jose 4, Tamsi 0, Ugsang 0, Denila 0

UP 69-Gallarza 18, Reyes 14, Dario 10, Moralde 9, Juruena 8, Lao 4, Gingerich 3, Vito 3, Harris 0

Quarterscores: 19-18, 35-35, 53-52, 75-69
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