FEU drubs UST, ends Tigers' streak

What was expected to be a grind-it-out game was quickly turned into a rout by Far Eastern University.

Hitting their full stride early on, the Tamaraws jumped the gun on the stunned University of Santo Tomas en route to a masterful 87-60 victory Thursday night that snapped the Growling Tigers’ six-game winning run in the UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball action at the MOA Arena.

Shifty guard Terrence Romeo got the Tamaraws rolling by firing away 14 of his 19 points in the first quarter  - and personally outscoring the entire UST team - as FEU uncorked a 24-5 tear that left UST stuck in second gear all game long.

With the win, the Tamaraws forged a two-way tie with the Tigers at second with identical 6-2 marks, just half a game behind four-time champion Ateneo (6-1).

“Aggressiveness sa defense talaga and maganda rin ang ball movement kaya nakuha namin ng ganu’n kadali ‘yung laban,” stated FEU coach Bert Flores, whose wards went on a sizzling 38-of-62 shooting from the field (61.3 percent) that enabled them to post their highest winning margin since 2003.

American import Anthony Hargrove and Roger Pogoy tallied 13 points apiece and combined for 15 rebounds.

Rugged Arvie Bringas, who pushed UST import Karim Abdul out of his comfort zone, added 10 points for the Tamaraws, who also defeated the Tigers 73-72 in the opener last July 14.

Aljon Mariano led UST with 15 points and seven boards while Jeric Fortuna added 12 markers and six assists but, the leading MVP contender with game averages of 17.57 points and league-best 13.6 rebounds, struggled against FEU’s collapsing defense, settling for just 11 points and nine boards.

UST managed to taste the lead at 4-2 courtesy of  an offensive basket interference by Hargrove on Fortuna’s attempt, but FEU, with Romeo leading the way, unleashed its full might with that jarring 24-5 tear to build an early 26-9 cushion after the first 10 minutes of play.

The Tigers, who missed their first 15 shots from beyond the arc, finally rang the bell from the three-point area in third canto, with Tata Bautista’s triple pulling them within 35-58.
Flores immediately sued for time and the Tamaraws, getting instant offensive production from Arvie Bringas, uncorked six consecutive points that put them in full command from then on.

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