Far Eastern University made some crucial stops late in the game to edge defending champion Ateneo de Manila University, 79-75, in overtime on Wednesday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Point guard Terrence Romeo powered the Tamaraws with 21 points on top of nine boards and three assists as FEU took the solo lead with a rousing 2-0 start.
Mike Tolomia backed Romeo up with 16 points, five rebounds and a couple of assists.
The Blue Eagles fell to 0-2, their worst start since 2003.
FEU was leading, 66-64, when Ateneo rookie Chris Newsome sank his two free throws to tie the game at 66-all. FEU’s Ryan Roose Garcia failed to convert a game-winning basket in the last 10.7 seconds as the game went into extra time.
Ateneo skipper Kiefer Ravena, meanwhile, will be out indefinitely because of a right ankle injury.
In the first game, De La Salle University thumped University of the Philippines (UP), 96-84, to claim its first win this season.
La Salle improved to 1-1 mark while UP dropped to 0-2.
Last season’s Rookie of the Year Jeron Teng had 20 points, a rebound and four assists while rookie Jason Andre Perkins made his presence felt with 20 markers and 14 rebounds for the Green Archers. Almond Vosotros contributed 15 while Norbert Torres and Thomas Torres added 14 each.
“We’re still getting used to the system with coach Juno [Sauler]. In our practice, he emphasized on our fast breaks. He wants us to push the ball more,” said Teng.
Joseph Marata led the Fighting Maroons with a career-high 21 points while rookie Kyles Lao scored 18.
In the juniors division, the National University Bullpups trounced the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, 79-72, while the University of the East Junior Warriors defeated the UP Integrated School Junior Maroons, 87-81.
The Bullpups and the Junior Warriors joined opening-game winners Far Eastern University-Diliman Baby Tamaraws and La Salle-Zobel Baby Archers with 1-0. EMIL C. NOGUERA