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Tams gore Tigers

By Jerome lagunzad

Games Today
(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – UE vs Ateneo
4 p.m. – NU vs Adamson

Arvin Tolentino is starting to get his usual groove back and that’s nothing less than a welcome development for host Far Eastern University.

UAAP copy copy

The 6-foot-5 power forward provided the offensive spark in the second half as the Tamaraws turned back the University of Santo Tomas Tigers, 78-65, and got back on track in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

A non-factor early on where they trailed by as many as 10 points, Tolentino found his shooting touch after the break, banging in 11 of his team-high 15 points, including a pair of triples that highlighted FEU’s decisive 18-to-nothing onslaught bridging the third and fourth periods to pull away from UST.

“Lagi naman sinasabi sa akin ng mga coaches na energy and effort lang palagi. Simulan sa defense, susunod naman ang offense,” beamed the former Rookie of the Year awardee who added 10 rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist, doing his best to fill up the slack left by Cameroonian Prince Orizu who was playing under the weather.

FEU coach Olsen Racela couldn’t help but be proud of how Tolentino, a transferee from powerhouse Ateneo, is embracing the bigger role given to him.

“If he plays with that kind of intensity, effort and energy, especially on the defensive end, magiging marami talaga ang playing time niya,” he said.

The victory enabled the Tamaraws to bounce back from a 94-82 loss to the the Blue Eagles nearly a week ago and improve their mark to an even 2-2 mark.

Meanwhile, the Growling Tigers, who came out firing on all cylinders and even enjoyed a 22-12 lead off Carlos Escalambre’s triple early in the second canto, ran out of steam and remained winless after four starts.

Aside from Tolentino’s timely explosion, the Tamaraws’ renewed defensive vigor in the second half forced the Growling Tigers out of their comfort zone behind an impenetrable 2-3 zone defense.

First Game
FEU 78 – Dennison 15, Tolentino 15, Parker 8, Tuffin 8, Ebona 6, Inigo 6, Comboy 5, Orizu 5, Ramirez 5, Escoto 3, Stockton 2, Cani 0, Trinidad 0, Nunag 0, Bayquin 0.

UST 65 – Faundo 16, Sta. Ana 11, Basibas 8, Escalambre 8, Akomo 6, Huang 4, Lee 3, De Guzman 3, Macasaet 2, Arana 2, Kwawukumey 2, Garcia 0, Caunan 0, Soriano 0.

Quarters: 11-16, 31-36, 49-48, 78-65.