The Far Eastern University Tamaraws are getting closer to a Final Four slot after posting a whopping 109-65 smashing of the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers Sunday in the 84th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws, who have always made it the Final Four since 2012, are zeroing in on the third slot in the semifinals after setting a 44-winning margin over the Growling Tigers. It was the second biggest winning gap in the league since 2003.
With the Tamaraws’ 7-7 win-loss record at the end of the elimination round, FEU coach Olsen Racela’s squad has eliminated his brother, coach Nash and his Adamson Falcons, who came away with a 65-53 smothering of the University of the East Warriors.
“We shot really well, especially in the second half. But I thought we defended better in the third quarter,” said the elder Olsen, with FEU now having a chance to barge into the Final Four with early qualifiers Ateneo, University of the Philippines and La Salle.
John Bryan Sajonia hit a career-high 27 points for the Tams, who are waiting for the outcome of National University’s encounter with La Salle Green Archers.
NU has a 6-7 slate.
So far, the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ 101-51 smothering of the Growling Tigers last April 21 remained as the biggest blowout score in recent memory.
After posting a 49-34 halftime lead, the Tams went on to limit the Tigers to 13 points in the third period, taking a 27-point, 74-47 spread when the fourth quarter got under way
Nic Cabañero provided 16 points for the Growling Tigers, who lost six straight games to finish their season at 3-11.
Meanwhile, the Falcons, who ended their campaign with a 6-8 slate, drew 15 points from Jose Manuel Sabandal, while Vince Magbuhos made 11 points.
“We were all business today, even if we have a lot of things to improve,” said Falcons’ coach Nash Racela.