FEU Tamaraws 80 – ADMU Blue Eagles 67, FEU forces do-or-die game
The FEU Tamaraws lived to fight another day. Facing the top-seeded Ateneo Blue Eagles, the Tamaraws played from end to end and didn’t let up. They won convincingly, handing Ateneo their second straight loss this season and forced a rubber match to determine who will advance to the Finals.
FEU started the game out strong. They changed things up and put out their strongest line-up to start the game. Jasper Parker and Arvin Tolentino, two of FEU’s most potent weapons off the bench were in the starting line-up. Those two gave the Tamaraws an additional punch on offense as FEU zoomed out to an early lead in the first quarter. Axel Inigo came off the bench and hit back-to-back three-pointers to end the first quarter and give the Tamaraws a six-point lead.
The Blue Eagles momentarily found their rhythm in the second quarter. Back-to-back Mike Nieto three-pointers got Ateneo back in the game. They stayed within striking distance of the Tamaraws for most of the middle quarters. But that was the most fight they put up in the game. Ateneo was able to tie the game at 38 early in the third quarter.
Ron Dennison refused to let the Tamaraws suffer another collapse against the Blue Eagles. He unloaded eight points in a 16-4 run that pushed their lead up to 14, before settling for an 11-point lead heading into the final period. Dennison scored on back-to-back three-pointers and hit a stretch layup to spark the run.
The Tamaraws continued to roll in the final period. Ateneo cut the lead down to seven points but FEU’s defense and offense were clicking. They unleashed another 14-4 run that increased their lead to 17 points. They took the fight out of Ateneo with that run and comfortably cruised to the Final Four win.
Dennison led the Tamaraws with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals, completing an all-around effort. Tolentino and Prince Orizu outclassed their counterparts, combining for 23 points and eight rebounds. Hubert Cani hit big shots in the fourth quarter to stave off the Blue Eagles’ run. He finished with 11 points. Ateneo and FEU will meet again on Wednesday to determine who will advance to the Finals.