Tams, Tigers prevail

Last season’s losing finalist Far Eastern University got some measure of revenge against defending champion National University, hacking out a 61-59 victory before a sizeable crowd at the Araneta Coliseum to stay in on top of the heap alongside University of Santo Tomas in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.

Mike Tolomia, who finished with 19 points and five assists, bailed out the Tamaraws out of trouble, scoring back-to-back triples in the final 1:48 to keep his team afloat, 58-52.

The Bulldogs fought back to make it a two-point game, 59-61, behind Kyle Neypes trey and a basket from Gelo Alolina,  but Francis Tamsi stole the ball off Alfred Aroga’s pass  to prevent NU from sending the game into overtime.

The Tamaraws led by 10, 50-40, at the end of the third quarter, but the Bulldogs ignited a 10-2 run capped by Nikko Abatayo’s free throw and a Neypes layup.

The Tamaraws improved to 6-1, while NU lost for the first time after threee straight victories, and dropped to 3-4.

Aroga led NU with 17 points, while Alolino and Neypes added 10 each.

Earlier, University of Santo Tomas once again displayed fine shooting from downtown, this time courtesy  of Ed Daquioag, who scored a season-high 34 points to lead the Growling Tigers past the University of the East Warriors, 83-76.

Daquioag was on fire in the second half,  where he scored 21 points, as the Tigers weathered the Warriors repeated comebacks.

The win had UST finishing the first round on top in a tie with the Tamaraws at 6-1.

The Red Warriors, meanwhile, dropped to 2-5.

“Summer pa lang, Natural na sa kanya ‘yung performance niyang yan para sa amin,” said UST coach Bong de la Cruz.

Daquioag was 14-of-23 from the field, and added four rebounds and six assists in leading the Tigers to their third straight win.

UST led by ten, 56-46, when Daquioag caught fire to put UST comfortably ahead, 59-46, with 3:46 remaining.

With the win, the Tigers equaled their best start in 2013 when they made it to  the finals before losing to La Salle in three games

Paul Varilla had 25 points for the Red Warriors, while Chris Javier added 12.

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