Rookie Sean Torculas made his extended minutes count as University of the Philippines eliminated Far Eastern University, 81-64, in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Torculas delivered a career-high 13 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the inside and five of eight overall to steer the Fighting Maroons to their 10th win in 12 outings.
UP’s victory further boosted its bid for one of the two coveted twice-to-beat incentives while eliminating FEU from the Final Four contention as the Tamaraws fell to a 3-9 record.
Another rookie in Francis Lopez also took the spotlight after flirting with a double-double performance of 12 points and nine rebounds, while Harold Alarcon added 11 markers for the Diliman-based squad.
Although the Tamaraws managed to trim the deficit to just 11, 70-59, on two L-Jay Gonzales free throws made, the climb proved to be tough.
With over a minute to go, though, UP went on a telling 7-0 run capped by Lopez from beyond the arc at the 1:34 mark.
Despite FEU’s last-gasp fightback, the clock ran out before they could change their fate.
“‘Yon ‘yong goal (twice-to-beat advantage). Tulad ng sinabi ko last time, we’re just taking one practice and one game at a time. We know what’s at stake. Last game it clinched the Final Four spot for us. Now it’s another goal. Si coach Goldwin (Monteverde) nire-remind lang mga players to keep pounding. Even though we kept pounding, that’s how the game went nung first half, we addressed that we won’t get it in one home run,” said UP assistant coach Christian Luanzon.
Graduating guard Gonzales led all scorers with 20 points in the losing end, while Jorick Bautista had 17 points.
The Tamaraws have been cut out of the semifinal cast for the second straight season.
UP 81 – Torculas 13, Lopez 12, Alarcon 11, Briones 9, Cagulangan 7, Diouf 6, Felicilda 4, Pablo 4, Abadiano 4, Gonzales 4, Torres 3, Cansino 2, Gagate 2, Alter 0, Belmonte 0.
FEU 64 – Gonzales 20, Bautista 17, Sleat 8, Torres 8, Faty 6, Tempra 3, Ona 2, Bagunu 0, Montemayor 0, Buenaventura 0, Felipe 0, Competente 0.
Quarters: 16-13, 34-27, 60-47, 81-64.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph