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UAAP: Tams waylay Maroons

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines defenders gang up on Far Eastern University’s Prince Orizu (center) during a rebound play in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines defenders gang up on Far Eastern University’s Prince Orizu (center) during a rebound play in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By JEROME LAGUNZAD

Games Wednesday (Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – Adamson vs UP
4 p.m. – UE vs La Salle

Far Eastern University remains a perplexing puzzle to solve for University of the Philippines.

The Tamaraws sent the Fighting Maroons crashing back to earth following a dominant 78-59 victory yesterday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Veteran Ron Dennison shone on both ends, coming through with a team-high of 16 points while putting the clamps down on UP star Paul Desiderio, as FEU turned what was expected to be a tight battle into a one-sided affair.

The Tamaraws racked up their third straight victory and fourth overall in six matches, moving up to third spot overall. In addition, FEU stretched its winning run against UP to 12 dating back to the second round of Season 74.

The Maroons, who stunned defending champion, 98-87, last weekend, groped for form offensively and went down to their second loss in five matches.

The Tamaraws’ smothering defense made life miserable for the Maroons, who made just 23 of their 73 tries from the field, including just four from beyond the arc – way below their season-high of 16 triples against the Green Archers.

“Well, it was a defensive game for us,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela, smiling from ear-to-ear. “Palagi kong sinasabi sa kanila kung saan kami kailangan mag-focus. And that’s on making defensive stops.”

Dennison certainly took to heart Racela’s challenge as he forced Desiderio out of his comfort zone. The UP gunner, who averaged 29.0 points in their last two matches, was held down to just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, all of them coming in the first half.

“Nagawa namin ‘yung plinano namin against UP, lalong-lalo na sa side ko kay Desiderio. Na-limit ko siya sa pag-score,” said the graduating FEU wingman.

Richard Escoto had 12 points while Cameroon big man Prince Orizu hauled down a game-high 14 rebounds on top of eight points and two blocks to make up for the game-long struggle by top forward Arvin Tolentino who scored just three points on six limited attempts.

In the nightcap, Adamson added to the misery of free-falling University of the East 79-60.

Scores:
FEU 78 – Dennison 16, Escoto 12, Orizu 8, Iñigo 7, Parker 7, Comboy 6, Cani 5, Tuffin 4, Ebona 4, Ramirez 4, Tolentino 3, Stockton 2, Trinidad 0, Nunag 0, Bayquin 0.

UP 59 – Ouattara 17, Gomez de Liano Ju 16, Desiderio 9, Dario 8, Manzo 4, Lim 3, Webb 2, Gomez de Liano Ja 0, Vito 0, Ricafort 0, Jaboneta 0, Lao 0, Prado 0.

Quarters: 18-14, 40-24, 56-43, 78-59.

Second Game
Adamson 79 – Sarr 15, Manganti 10, Ahanmisi 8, Manalang 8, Lojera 8, Espeleta 7, Ochea 7, Bernardo 6, Pingoy 4, Mustre 3, Hill 3, Camacho 0, Zaldivar 0, Chua 0, Paranada 0.

UE 60 – Olayon 16, Pasaol 15, Bartolome 6, Maloles 6, Varilla 5, Manalang 4, Cullar 2, Acuno 2, Derige 2, Abanto 2, Conner 0, Armenion 0.

Quarters: 23-11, 41-31, 61-46, 79-60.

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