Far Eastern University (FEU) bounced back in an emphatic fashion as it hacked out a 72-53 drubbing of Adamson University in the 11th FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Nursing the wounds of their first loss dealt by University of the Philippines, the Tamaraws banked on a strong first half showing en route to their fifth win in six games.
“We played very good in the first half. I think that spelled the difference,” said FEU head coach Olsen Racela, who just secured his first playoff appearance as mentor of the multi-titled collegiate squad.
FEU ended the match with a staggering 47 percent shooting from the field against AdU’s 29 percent.
“We caught Adamson on an off-night,” added Racela.
Arvin Tolentino drilled in 22 points, including his 17-point explosion in the opening 20 minutes while Ron Dennison and Prince Orizu chipped in eight markers apiece for the Tamaraws.
Jerie Pingoy finished with 13 points and Sean Manganti added 10 for the Falcons, who closed their elimination round campaign with a 6-2 slate, enough to seal a seat in the quarterfinals.
The Tamaraws ran into a searing start as they put up 40 points built on a 49 percent shooting clip in the opening half while limiting the Falcons to just 18 markers, the lowest by any team in this season of the annual tourney.
With the momentum on their side, the Morayta-based cagers cruised to their biggest lead in the game, 52-24, as Prince Orizu went for an easy layup midway the third frame.
Adamson trimmed the deficit down to 17 points, 48-65, on Pingoy’s long jumper in the 3:45 mark of the payoff period.
However, that would be the closest distance the Falcons could fly as the hot-shooting Tamaraws persisted on draining their shots.
In the juniors class, SJ Belangel erupted with 34 points as he propelled Ateneo de Manila University (3-0) to a 97-95 nipping of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (0-3)
Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-2) leaned on Neil Ruiz’s 20-point performance as it smothered La Salle Green Hills (1-3), 86-72.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA