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Tams spoil Pingoy, Cani's much-awaited Blue Eagles debut

Dennis Acosta
By Kevin Estrada

PASAY--Far Eastern University relied on the balanced scoring and a furious first quarter to bulldoze Ateneo De Manila, 88-64 in their UAAP 78 opener at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

Four Tamaraws lead the charge with their double-digit scoring, with Roger Pogoy with team-high 19 points on a 7-of-12 shooting clip. Mike Tolomia had 17, and Mac Belo and sixth man Raymar Jose had 16 markers each for Coach Nash Racela. The latter had a double-double to boot with 10 rebounds, four of them on the offensive end.

Kiefer Ravena led the Blue Eagles with 25 point but received little support from the rest of his teammates with Gwynne Capacio the only other Eagle in double digits with 14 markers. Von Pessumal had 9 markers, making only 1-of-6 triples, but most of them came in garbage time as they limped to its worst opening day loss since July 16, 2000 when they were mauled by archrivals La Salle by the same deficit, 70-94.

After a Ravena triple gave Coach Bo Perasol’s outfit a 7-4 lead earlier in the first quarter, the Tamaraws went to work, clipping the Eagles’ wings on a 19-4 run in six minutes to end the quarter, 23-11, with Tolomia and Pogoy combined for 21 of the 23.

The Tamaraws never looked back and the lead ballooned to sixteen points, 28-12, just less than two minutes into the second canto courtesy of Monbert Arong. From then on FEU virtually had answered every Ateneo shot to lead 44-26 at the half.

The Blue Eagles won the third quarter 23-20 but the lead was still with the Tams, 64-49 heading into the final frame.

FEU scored five straight points to start the fourth, three-point play of Pogoy over Chibueze Ikeh that pushed the lead to twenty, 69-49, to virtually put the game away from Ateneo and coasted to a comprehensive victory that confirmed their status as title contenders this season after painfully losing in the championship series last season.

The Tamaraws ended the three-game losing skid against Ateneo since Season 76. They last won in July 2, 2013 when they beat their Loyola rivals, 79-75, in overtime.

For Perasol, it was his second opening-day loss in his third year in charge, after losing to NU two seasons ago to spoil his coaching debut.

Box Scores:

FEU 88–Pogoy 19, Tolomia 17, Belo 16, Jose 16, Ru. Escoto 6, Arong 5, Inigo 5, Dennison 4, Ri. Escoto 0, Holmqvist 0, Orizu 0, Tamsi 0, Trinidad 0

Ateneo 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, V. Tolentino 0

Quarterscores: 23-11, 44-26, 64-49, 88-64