FAR EASTERN University (FEU) leaned on Achie Iñigo to beat University of the Philippines (UP), 75-69, on Saturday strengthening its hold of the No.1 spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Iñigo scored only eight points but five of those were in the crucial two minutes including a three-point shot that allowed the Tamaraws to regain lead, 71-69, with only a minute left. His two free throws with 35 seconds to go sealed their ninth win in 11 games.
“I reminded my players that this would be a scariest game since UP really wanted this win so bad,” said assistant coach Eric Gonzales, who substituted for head coach Nash Racela who is currently in Madrid, Spain for the Gilas Pilipinas game in the FIBA World Cup.
“I salute UP in this game. They played tough against us,” he added.
Swingman Mike Tolomia led the Tamaraws with 19 points and five rebounds, while 6’5 center Mac Belo finished with 14 points and seven boards. American center Anthony Hargrove contributed 11 points for the Tamaraws that secured a playoff for Final Four slot.
JR Gallarza and Mikee Reyes posted 18 points and 14 points, respectively, for the Maroons, whose win-loss record dropped to 1-10.
In the second game, the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles posted a convincing 69-58 victory over the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers improving their win-loss record to 8-3.
Guard Kiefer Ravena notched a game-high 23 points plus 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Chris Newsome finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Karim Abdul led UST with 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Growling Tigers absorbed their sixth loss in 11 games for a 5-6 record.