It was a heart-stopping shot by Mac Belo that gave the FEU Tamaraws their most memorable win all season.
Beating the Ateneo Blue Eagles by a slim two points, 76-74, the Tamaraws are set for the finals, where they’ll have a showdown with either the UST Growling Tigers or the NU Bulldogs for the UAAP championship title.
The Tamaraws were sluggish on the first few minutes of the starting quarter, giving Ateneo a clean four-point lead. But after several missed shots by the Eagles, the Tamarraws flipped the tables to take a 7-4 lead early game.
The Tamaraws took control of the game from then on, leading the scoreboards by as much as seven points, in both the first and second quarters.
By the end of the half, the Tamaraws were up by six points, 38-32.
Struggling to close the gap, Ateneo entered the third quarter re-energized, sinking baskets to shorten the gap to a single point, 45-44, with four and a half minutes left in the third.
But Ateneo’s advance was short-lived after FEU pulled away again with the lead, closing the third quarter with a six point advantage, 56-50.
Things began to really heat up in the fourth. After entering the first deadlock of the game with 61-all at the six-minute marker, it was a battle for the lead. Nearing the two-minute mark, the Eagles slipped with the lead, 71-74, after Ravena hit a behind the arc and a jumpshot.
FEU answered back with a three of their own from the right corner by Roger Pogoy, tying the game at a crucial 74-all with a minute left in the clock.
With the clock winding down to its last few seconds, the 74-all lock held until Belo saved a missed shot by Mike Tolomia, shooting a buzzer beater in the last five seconds that shattered the deadlock in favor of the Tamaraws, 76-74.
Photo Cerdits to: Peter Baltazar
Pogoy led the Tamaraws with 16 baskets, shooting two 3-pointers out of six attempts. Belo followed with 15 points along with an astounding 56% Field Goal percentage, while the generous Mike Tolomia scored 13 with 33% FG.
Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena scored a game-high 25 points in the last game of his UAAP career with a 53% FG, Wong followed with 17 points sinking three shots out of four from behind the arc.
UST Battles NU tomorrow for the finals slot.
Box Scores highlight:
FEU (76) — Pogoy 16, Belo 15, Tolomia 13, Inigo 9, Dennison 6, Jose 5, Ru. Escoto 4, Orizu 4, Arong 4, Tamsi 0.
Ateneo (74) — Ravena 25, Wong 17, Pessumal 15, Gotladera 8, Ikeh 4, Ma. Nieto 2, Go 2, Capacio 1, Babilonia 0, Black 0. A. Tolentino 0, Pingoy 0, V. Tolentino 0.
Quarterscores: 19-12, 38-32, 56-50, 76-74.