Far Eastern University grabbed solo fourth seed after beating De La Salle University, 67-62, in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament, Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Tamaraws improved half a game ahead of Adamson University for fourth at 6-6, while pulling the Green Archers down to 7-5, still at third.
Knotted at 57 after a Mike Phillips putback, FEU answered back with a 9-2 blast, courtesy of treys from Xyrus Torres, RJ Abarrientos, and Patrick Sleat, to restore a seven-point cushion with just 58.1 seconds left, 66-59.
La Salle's Nonoy got fouled from behind the arc with 23.5 seconds left but made just two. In the ensuing play, Tamaraw James Tempra committed a costly inbounding turnover.
Phillips received the ball in the paint and went up for a shot and was fouled, but he split his charities to allow FEU to go up by two possessions with just 7.7 ticks to go, 62-66.
L-Jay Gonzales' freebie iced the match to give the Tamaraws their third-straight win.
"At the half, ‘yun ung sinabi ko sakanila. We have to play 40 minutes of basketball to beat La Salle. We had a bad third quarter... Luckily in the fourth quarter, we stepped up on defense and executed on offense so nasuwerte rin kami because La Salle didn't have Winston today so we just took advantage of it," said FEU head coach Olsen Racela.
In the third, the Green Archers held the Tamaraws field goal-less in the whole quarter, going 0-of-13, with all its points coming from the free throw line, to turn a 13-point deficit to a 49-47 lead.
Abarrientos had a good day from the field, going 8-of-14 and 5-of-11 from deep to finish with 21 points. FEU as a team shot 48.1 percent from the rainbow country, making 13 of their 27 attempts.
Torres added 14 points while Sleat was a surprise with 10 points. Gonzales did it all with nine points, 10 rebounds, four rebounds, and two steals.
Evan Nelle paced the Green Archers with 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while Justine Baltazar was still a force with 13 points and 16 rebounds despite him taking 17 shots.
La Salle will look to solidify its hold of third when it battles the Soaring Falcons on Thursday at 12:30 pm. FEU will try to upset the undefeated Ateneo de Manila University at 4:30 pm.
FEU 67 -- Abarrientos 21, Torres 14, Sleat 10, Gonzales 9, Ojuola 4, Sajonia 3, Alforque 2, Tempra 2, Celzo 2, Sandagon 0, Bienes 0.
DLSU 62 -- Nelle 15, Baltazar 13, Lojera 10, M. Phillips 7, Nwankwo 6, Nonoy 4, Austria 4, Cuajao 3, Manuel 0, B. Phillips 0, Cu 0, Galman 0.
Quarterscores: 25-15, 42-29, 47-49, 67-62. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)