Ron Dennison and Prince Orizu starred as Far Eastern University (FEU) downed a gutsy University of the East (UE), 90-83, to barge into the win column in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Dennison caught fire anew as he scored 16 points while Orizu came through with a double-double of 15 markers and 16 rebounds as the Tamaraws posted their breakthrough victory in two games.
“It always gives you satisfaction when you win especially our first for the season and my first one as a (collegiate) coach,” said FEU rookie mentor Olsen Racela.
But Racela admitted that they still have a lot of work left to do.
“We’re still far from our goal. We still have a lot of things to do and take care of,” he added.
Big men Richard Escoto, Barkley Eboña and Arvin Tolentino chipped in 11 points apiece for the Morayta-based cagers, who bounced back from a 90-95 defeat to defending champion De La Salle University.
Clark Derige chalked a game-high 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting clip while Alvin Pasaol added 13 markers as the Red Warriors dropped their second straight game.
The Tamaraws outgunned the Red Warriors from the field (45 percent-35 percent), pulled down more rebounds (50-42) and dished out more assists (26-19).
FEU snatched the lead with only two minutes past the game and never trailed for the rest of the 40-minute contest but had to repeatedly parry away several fightbacks by UE.
After cruising to a commanding 46-28 advantage, the Tamaraws settled for a 52-42 halftime cushion as the Red Warriors raced to a 14-6 run.
The 2015 UAAP titlist restored a huge lead, 73-56, on Allen Trinidad’s corner triple at the 3:13 mark of the third frame.
Derrick Pumaren’s men were able to trim down the deficit to just eight points, 73-81, midway the payoff period as Mark Olayon sank a basket.
But veteran Dennison fired six straight points for an 88-76 spread with 2:18 remaining to secure the win for the host school.