Tamaraws hold off Green Archers

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Far Eastern University (FEU) survived the late charge of defending champion De La Salle University, 74-70, to grab the solo lead in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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The Tamaraws posted their eight win in 10 games while the Green Archers fell in a three-way tie for second with Ateneo de Manila University and National University with 7-3 each.

Mike Tolomia led FEU with 22 points on 8-of-18 field goals and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. He also had five rebounds and three assists.

Mark Belo and Achie Inigo backed him up with 11 and 10 markers, respectively.

FEU snapped La Salle’s seven-game winning streak. It also duplicated its 82-77 win over the Green Archers in the first round.

In the first game, University of Santo Tomas (UST) repulsed University of the Philippines (UP), 77-65, to keep its Final Four bid alive.

The Growling Tigers improved to 5-5 while the Fighting Maroons dropped to 1-9.

Cameroonian Karim Abdul sizzled with a double-double 21 points and 12 rebounds while Regie Basibas also had a sterling performance of 16 points, 18 boards and a couple of assists. Aljon Mariano contributed 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

“We’re still alive [for a Final Four berth]. We’ll take it one game at a time. Reggie stepped up this time. He’s athletic and he’s learning the system,” said UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz.

Mikee Reyes led the Fighting Maroons with 22 points, three rebounds and three assists as Diego Dario and Moriah Gingerich were limited to nine points each.

In the women’s division, Ateneo routed University of the East, 70-56, while FEU nipped UP, 59-54, to forge a four-way tie in fourth place.

Ateneo and FEU joined idle Adamson and UST in No. 4 at 5-5. NU is unbeaten in 10 matches and has already bagged the first semis berth, while defending champion La Salle is running second with an 8-2 slate.

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