The Green Archers wanted to give a winning send-off for Coach Franz Pumaren, who will be missing the Archers final three elimination games to coach the RP Youth Team, but the FEU Tamaraws wanted to have a party of their own as the Morayta-based squad score an 83-75 victory over the defending champions.
After a lead grabbing three-point shot from JV Casio 6:33 left in the game, an auspicious buzzer beating 3-point shot from Reil Cervantes prevented a momentum shift to De La Salle. Green Archer forward James Mangahas scored underneath the basket to tie the count anew. But the Green Archer defense just couldn’t stop Mark Barroca from converting one basket after another. The wily point guard made four straight baskets from all areas of the floor going into the final two minutes that saw the FEU Tamaraws with a sudden 6-point lead. The Green Archers struggled in offense with Casio sitting on the bench. It was revealed by a team insider later that Casio’s entry in the ballgame had to be paced since La Salle’s main gun is just recovering from a flu.
The Green Archers, visibly surprised by the Barroca onslaught, lost the ball twice at the backcourt, which were easily converted by the Tamaraws. With only 2:20 left in the game clock, the Archers just couldn’t overcome the almost insurmountable 10 point-margin.
With the win, the FEU Tamaraws and the Green Archers are now tied at 2nd place, at 8-3 win-loss card and will figure in a tight race to notch that twice to beat advantage in the Final Four.
The game was tightly fought in the first 10 minutes of play with both teams finishing the first quarter with 14 points each. But FEU’s Benedict Fernandez went on an offensive attack scoring 14 points in the first 4 minutes of the 2nd quarter against La Salle’s 4 points for a double digit Tamaraw lead. But the Green Archers clawed their way back, figuring in a 7 point swing in less than 30 seconds to move to within a point. But the Tamaraws maintained their composure to end the 1st half with a five-point lead, 37-32.
FEU 83 – Barroca 26, Fernanded 14, Cervantes 13, Knuttel 11, Cawaling 6, Adolfo 6, Tanuan 4, Ramos 3, Macazo 0, Alisbo 0, Sanga 0, Cabagnot 0
DLSU 75 – Maierhofer 18, Casio 15, Mangahas 14, Villanueva 8, Barua 7, Revilla 6, Webb 4, Atkins 3, Mendoza 0, Bagatsing 0, Malabes 0, Ferdinand 0, Lee 0
Quarter Scores: 14-14; 37-32; 54-47; 83-75