Tamaraws shrug off Board ruling, turn back Warriors

A day after receiving bad news about a past game, the Tamaraws of Far Eastern University put it all behind them and focused on the game at hand.

With sweet-shooting Terrence Romeo sustaining his offensive brilliance, FEU repulsed pumped-up University of the East with an 83-78 victory Saturday night to bolster its Final Four hopes in the UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball action at the MOA Arena.

Fast turning into one of the league’s prolific scorers, Romeo drilled in eight of his 24 points in the payoff period while Roger Pogoy contributed 17 markers and 13 boards that proved enough to help FEU stave off UE’s late- harge and stay hot on the heels of second-running University of Santo Tomas and pace-setting Ateneo, the four-time defending champion.

The Tamaraws, whose 77-75 win over National University on September 1 has been overruled by the UAAP Board Friday and has been re-set tentatively on Sept. 23, improved their record to 8-3, closely trailing behind the Tigers (9-3) and the Blue Eagles (9-2).

“Board decision na (‘yung sa kontrobersya) kaya wala nang magagawa. Siyempre malungkot (‘yung buong team pati community) kasi pinagpaguran din nila kaya lang board decision na,” stated FEU coach Bert Flores.

Roi Sumang paced all scorers with 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting plus six boards and as many assists while Gene Belleza added 18 markers, 12 coming from beyond the arc, but the Red Warriors still saw their two-game winning run cut short, eventually dropping to 3-9.

“Sabi nila gusto nilang i-prove na karapa’t dapat sila sa panalo. Kaya against UE big game, ito sa amin kasi galing yan sa panalo against a big team, added Flores.

Riding high on their morale-boosting 79-77 victory over the mighty Blue Eagles last Thursday, the Red Warriors got off to a strong start, even taking an early 23-13 cushion off Sumang’s two made freebies.

The Tamaraws, however, got their collective act together, exploding for 28 points in the second canto to gain a 46-38 spread at the break.

FEU managed to counter every UE attack, preserving their lead at 69-59 into the fourth and enjoying a comfortable 81-69 lead with 1:50 remaining before withstanding an and-game scare.

Belleza put together five straight points while Sumang added a triple as UE pulled within 77-81 in a span of 36 seconds but Pogoy came to the rescue with a timely inside incursion, putting the win beyond doubt.

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