By Yann Magcamit
QUEZON CITY -- The FEU Tamaraws claimed the last spot in the UAAP season's Final Four after beating the DLSU Green Archers in their do-or-die match, 71-70, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The two teams had a tight, neck-to-neck game to begin with, showing both team's determination to take the last spot and head to the semifinals along with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Adamson Soaring Falcons, and UP Fighting Maroons.
Raking in 19-of-72 field goals over the Archers' 17-of-51 field goals, the Tamaraws also delivered 31 points from the perimeter and emerged victorious by outrebounding their opponents in the offensive glass, 27-11, which made way for more second-chance points (15-9).
However, the Archers made use of their pace and agility by taking advantage of fastbreaks.
Santi Santillan's 20 points made him the top scorer of the game for the Archers with Justine Baltazar on the rebounds, and with Prince Orizu being fouled out by the last quarter, they were able to give the Tamaraws a run for their money.
The Archers almost had a taste of victory until Arvin Tolentino made a three-point shot that put his team in the lead.
Santillan's efforts to put the ball in with three seconds left before the buzzer was shot down by the Tamaraw's defense
The Tamaraws will be dueling the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday in the season's second game of the Final Four round.
DLSU 70 - Santillan 20, Melecio 9, Caracut 9, Montalbo 7, Baltazar 6, Manuel 5, Samuel 4, Dyke 3, Go 3, Bates 2, Serrano 2
FEU 71 - Tolentino 15, Ebona 12, Tuffin 11, Escoto 10, Comboy 8, Parker 7, Inigo 5, Cani 2, Orizu 1, Stockton 0, Gonzales 0, Bienes 0
Quarterscores: 22-21, 36-38, 54-51, 71-70
Follow her on Twitter: @alltheloveyann