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Kirby Mongcopa's 20-20 helps FEU-D draw near UAAP juniors basketball title

Kirby Mongcopa was a dominant force for the Baby Tams. UAAP Season 85 Media Team
By Stewart Tan

MANILA—Far Eastern University-Diliman clawed back from 11 points down to beat Adamson, 85-74, in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 85 high school boys basketball finals on Tuesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan. City

The victory gave the Baby Tamaraws a 1-0 edge in the best-of-three titular showdown and moved them closer to their first championship since UAAP Season 79.

Trailing by 11 points in the first half, the Baby Tamaraws held the Baby Falcons to only nine field goals in the last two periods to claim the series opener.

A VJ Pre lay-up off a John Rey Pasaol assist put FEU-Diliman ahead at 58-57 before Kirby Mongcopa drilled a three-pointer to widened the lead to 69-59 and never looked back.

"Yung first na nilaro namin, hindi pang-playoffs eh. Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanila sa halftime na maglaro kami na pang-playoff. Feeling ko ramdam nila yung panalo nila noong Final Four," said FEU-Diliman coach Allan Albano.

"Mabuti na lang at nag-respond yung mga players sa second half. They did their best na manalo rito pero hindi pa rin ako satisfied as a playoff game or championship game. Yung intensity nila kulang," he added.

Mongcopa led the way with 20 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists, Luke Felipe had 14 points, Pasaol and Jedric Daa each had 13 points while Dwyne Miranda chipped in 10 points for the Baby Tamaraws.

"Itong panalo ngayon, hindi pa rin kami makuntento. Kailangang gumawa ng paraan para next game, para makuha ang dapat," said the Dumaguete City-native Mongcopa.

Peter Rosillo led the Baby Falcons with 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists while Carlo Bonzalida, who had a no-relief job in the second half, had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Game 2 is set at 4 p.m. Friday.

The Scores:

FEU-D (85) -- Mongcopa 20, Felipe 14, Pasaol 13, Daa 13, Miranda 10, Pre 8, Cabonilas 7, Salangsang 0, Bautista 0, Pascual 0.

AdU (74) -- Rosillo 19, Bonzalida 18, Reyes 15, Edding 9, Medina 6, Abayon 3, Garcia 2, MepaƱa 2, Sajili 0.

Quarterscores: 25-23, 39-50, 60-59, 85-74.

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