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FEU claws back to Final 4 contention on Xyrus Torres game-winner

Xyrus Torres celebrates after draining the game-winner for the Tamaraws. UAAP Media Bureau
By Dugout Philippines

PASAY—Xyrus Torres nailed the game-winning trey to bolster Far Eastern University to a 59-57 win over National University, Thursday in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws snapped their three-game skid and were able to grab a piece of the fourth spot with the victory, tying the Bulldogs at 4-6.

"We really needed this win kasi NU 'yung hinahabol namin. We did not give up, especially in the second half. It's all about trust for us," said FEU head coach Olsen Racela.

With the Tamaraws' defense in full effect in the fourth frame, the Bulldogs were held field goal-less for the first nine minutes of the period with all their five points coming off free throws as FEU pull ahead by one after being down by 11, 55-54.

But NU's first made field goal of the fourth came in the most crucial of times with Michael Malonzo's layup and a foul with 37.7 seconds to go to put the Bulldogs back in front by two, 57-55.

However, L-jay Gonzales got one back off a split at the charity stripe before NU turned the ball over on the other end.

In the ensuing play, Xyrus Torres attempted a three but flunked it. The Tamaraws, though, got the offensive board that set up Torres for another attempt at the right-wing, which he swished this time with just two ticks left.

John Lloyd Clemente had one last shot to give the Bulldogs the victory but he was guarded well, forcing him to throw a wild shot as time expired.

Torres finished with 16 points on a 4-of-11 clip from behind the arc, while Emman Ojuola chipped in another double-double of 11 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Clemente was the lone bright spot for the Bulldogs with 13 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.

FEU will cap Saturday's quadruple-header against University of the East at 7 p.m., while NU will meet the unscathed Ateneo de Manila University at 12:30 p.m. the same day.

The Scores:

FEU 59 -- Torres 16, Ojuola 11, Sandagon 10, Gonzales 7, Tempra 4, Sleat 3, Abarrientos 3, Bienes 2, Alforque 2, Li 1, Celzo 0, Sajonia 0.

NU 57 -- Clemente 13, Ildefonso 9, Joson 8, Minerva 6, Malonzo 5, Felicilda 5, Torres 3, Figueroa 2, Gaye 2, Mahinay 2, Manansala 2, Yu 0, Enriquez 0.

Quarterscores: 14-15, 22-33, 40-49, 59-57.

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