Far Eastern University grabbed the third seed using a solid fourth quarter to get past La Salle, 66-57, in the last game of the elimination round of the 74th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum Sunday.
With the win, the Tamaraws set a date against No. 2 seed Adamson instead of three-time defending champion Ateneo.
University of Santo Tomas, which suffered a setback at the hands of National University earlier in the after noon, ended up at No. 4 and will tangle with the Blue Eagles.
Being the lower seeds, FEU and UST will have to beat their respective opponents twice to gain entry into the finals. A single loss, meanwhile, would eliminate each team from contention. The semifinals are scheduled on Thursday.
The Tamaraws sealed the third seed after a key 12-2 run in the middle of the fourth quarter led by Terrence Romeo. The run turned a close one-point game into a 64-53 spread for FEU.
Reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player RR Garcia scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Tamaraws while Aldrech Ramos finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Romeo added 17 points, including ten in the fourth quarter, as well as seven rebounds and four assists.
FEU coach Bert Flores was happy with how his squad finished things off in their elimination round campaign.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, magsipag kami para maganda naman ang preparation namin sa final four,” said Flores. “Kami naman kahit sino yung makalaban eh yun nga lang gusto namin mas maganda yung tapos after elimination round.”
Team captain Simon Atkins, who played his last game as a Green Archer, finished his UAAP career by scoring a team-high 16 points to lead La Salle.
FEU 66 – Garcia 19, Ramos 18, Romeo 17, Escoto 5, Cruz 4, Bringas 2, Pogoy 1
La Salle 57 – Atkins 16, Van Opstal 11, Webb 11, Mendoza 11, Revilla 2, Vosotros 2, Paredes 2, Marata 2
Quarters: 14-11, 27-33, 48-47, 66-57