FEU star guard RR Garcia provided the late game heroics, sinking the game-winning layup to help the Tamaraws escape the UST Growling Tigers, 73-72, in UAAP Season 75 action Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Garcia delivered 21 points, highlighted by crucial three-pointers and the breakaway layup late in the game that gave FEU the victory. He also had five rebounds and seven assists.
As FEU found themselves in a 60-50 hole entering the final quarter, he and guard Terrence Romeo conspired for a fiery 19-9 rally, marked by back-to-back three-pointers from Garcia to tie the game at 69.
UST guard Jeric Teng then sank a three-pointer at the 1:04 mark of the fourth quarter to give the Tigers the lead, before Anthony Hargrove scored a layup to put the Tamaraws within one point.
With a chance to push their lead further, Tigers guard Jeric Fortuna drove to the basket on the next play, only to lose the ball which led to an easy layup by Garcia.
The Tigers still had a chance for the victory, but their last-minute shot went way off the basket.
FEU coach Bert Flores admitted that UST’s hot start was a major concern for the Tamaraws.
“Ang hirap i-contain ng outside shooting nila e,” Flores said.”Pa-two points two points lang kami (para makabalik).”
Hargrove registered a double-double, scoring 14 points and 14 rebounds while Terrence Romeo chipped in 13 points and six rebounds for the Tamaraws.
Center Karim Abdul led UST with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while Teng contributed 18 points for the Tigers.