University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Far Eastern University (FEU) will be going all-out in the deciding Game 3 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 men’s basketball best-of-three championship series today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The UST-FEU do-or-die game is set at 3:30 p.m.
“This will be our last game kaya ibibigay na namin ang lahat. We just need to play as a team tulad ng ginawa namin sa Game 2. Parati sa aming sinasabi ni coach na just enjoy the game,” said skipper Kevin Ferrer.
The 6-foot-4 small forward had an explosive 29-point showing the last time out, towing the Growling Tigers to a 62-56 win in Game 2 on Saturday. He fired six triples, hauled down 10 boards and dished out two assists.
“Sabi ko sa mga bata, we should enjoy the game and at the same time, depensa tayo. Kailangan ng mental toughness. Nung first game kasi nawala ‘yung enjoyment namin so sabi ko sa kanila ngiti lang tayo,” said UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz.
Besides Ferrer, the Growling Tigers will be banking on Cameroonian Karim Abdul and Ed Daquioag as well as Louie Vigil, Jan Jan Sheriff and Kent Lao as they aim to end their nine-year title drought.
“Susundin lang namin ‘yung game plan namin. Nasa amin ‘yung momentum kailangan lamang namin i-enjoy ang laro both on defense and offense,” added Daquioag.
The last time UST won a championship was in 2006 when it clipped Ateneo de Manila University via 2-1 series victory.
For its part, FEU vowed to bounce back after its Game 2 meltdown.
The Tamaraws had a poor 27.12 field goal shooting and committed 16 turnovers to let the Growling Tigers tied the series at 1-1. FEU won in Game 1, 75-64.
“These are veterans and I’m sure they’ll come back stronger,” said FEU mentor Nash Racela who will be relying on Mac Belo and Roger Pogoy along with Mike Tolomia, Prince Orizu, Francis Tamsi and Raymar Jose.
Belo (16) and Pogoy (12) were the only FEU players in double digits in Game 2 as Tolomia was limited to just seven – all from free throws – following a forgettable 0-of-15 field goal shooting.
FEU guns for its first title since 2005 and 20th overall.