Game Storyline

FEU got on a hot start, displaying the team effort they’ve been showing all season. With the players executing the dribble drive motion, the Tamaraws ended the first quarter with a commanding 20-13 lead. It seemed like FEU was destined for another win.

The second quarter came along but Jericho Cruz and Ingrid Sewa simply would not concede. They scored at will with Cruz getting to the basket everytime and Sewa punishing the bigs and scoring consecutively in the post as they combined for a whopping 18 points in the quarter.

It was pretty much a very close game with the lead swinging back and forth. With the game hanging in the balance, Terrence Romeo decided to take matters into his own hands, scoring the final eight points of the Tamaraws including a crossover three that sealed their win. In the end, the Falcons pretty much shot themselves in the foot, shooting  a dismal 8/22 (36.4%) from the free throw line.

Terrence Romeo rises up for a shot. (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.ph)

Terrence Romeo rises up for a shot. (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.ph)

Review of the Keys to the Game

Force the Turnovers

I was generally happy with FEU forcing 16 turnovers on the Falcons. They fell a bit short of their 17.2 turnover points per game with only 10 on this game. The Tamaraws did their job forcing turnovers and getting extra possessions. Credit them for capitalizing on one of the weaknesses of Adamson — turnovers.

Play solid defense

FEU played horrible defense in the second quarter with Jericho Cruz getting layups whenever he wanted and Sewa just manhandling the FEU bigs. They scored 24 points in the first half, 18 of them coming in the second quarter. But credit also goes to Cruz for his aggressiveness and athleticism, and Sewa for his improved post skills. I was really impressed though by their second half adjustments. Cruz wasn’t getting to the paint as much and they were fouling Sewa everytime he was about to shoot, which I liked very much (foul rather than give an easy two). The hacking of Sewa worked to their advantage: finishing 5/13 at the line (38.5%). They were also fronting him and getting steals from the post entry pass. Bottom line is the Falcons are a very good team and very hard to stop especially when they’re focused. Credit the FEU Tamaraws for adjusting to the game and finding a way to win.

Big three plays well
FG FT 3PT Pts Rebs Asts Stls TO
Terrence Romeo 10/23 (43%) 4/5 (80%) 2/7 (29%) 26 4 2 0 2
RR Garcia 3/9 (33%) 2/2 (100%) 1/5 (20%) 9 2 3 0 0
Mike Tolomia 3/9 (33%) 2/2 (100%) 0/3 (0%) 8 3 4 1 2

Romeo was his spectacular self, finishing with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. He showed why he’s the leading MVP candidate down the stretch, being the go to guy for FEU and delivering the win. Garcia and Tolomia though had sub-par games and their performances might’ve been pointed out had this game been a loss. Credit all the Tamaraws though for chipping in and contributing. It was a team effort and they gutted it out for the win.

Key statistics

FEU ADU
Three point shooting 5/20 (25%) 5/15 (33%)
FG 27/71 (38%) 29/60 (48%)
FT 15/17 (88%) 8/22 (36%)
Rebounds 37 46
Turnovers 8 16
Points in the Paint 26 42

Final Thoughts

As Coach Nash has repeatedly said, this FEU team has things to work on. They were hammered inside giving 42 points in the paint and could’ve lost if ADU had better outcomes at the line. I loved though how they adjusted to Sewa so he couldn’t dominate as much. All the credit goes to FEU for finding a way to win. I’m also very impressed at the late game composure they have shown. Remember a lot of the FEU wins were in close games and they had to fight to the last seconds. They are one of the best teams in the closing minutes and they commit the fewest mistakes which says a lot about the mental makeup, their discipline, preparation and really just how awesome they are. FEU has to stay hungry in the second round.  Leaving you guys with a quote from Coach Nash Racela about sweeping the first round:

“It’s an accomplishment but you don’t accomplish anything if you don’t get your goal.”

…and the goal is to get a championship.