Just when you thought the UP Fighting Maroons have finally seen the the light at the end of this long and seemingly infinite tunnel, they came up with an abysmal performance against the FEU Tamaraws to burst the little bubble of hope for a UP victory this season. The story of this 71-85 setback against FEU is a rehash of what had gone through in their first two losses this season and in the numerous mind-numbing defeats in the previous years.

Once again, UP raced off to a promising start as JR Gallarza waxed hot from downtown, thanks to the beautiful curls by Kyles Lao and Mikee Reyes which freed him up. They also capitalized from FEU’s turnovers early on. However, Mike Tolomia also fired up to pace the Tamaraws while Mac Belo provided the necessary punch off the bench to give FEU a slight advantage. The Fighting Maroons managed to keep it close until the second quarter, thanks to the continuous pouring of three-pointers from Gallarza and Dave Moralde.

And then third quarter came. Just like in the opening day demolition to the UE Red Warriors,  and in the pummeling by the NU Bulldogs, things fell apart and hell broke loose for the free-falling UP for  the rest of the game as they were down by as much as 27 points after the halftime break. Their offense was close to non-existent for majority of the second half while their defense was easily torn apart and shredded by the persevering Tamaraws.

Game Flow

Just another third quarter collpase by the UP Fighting Maroons

Just another third quarter collpase by the UP Fighting Maroons

Individual Offensive Ratings


Look at the usage rate and offensive rating of Agustini Amar in just four minutes of playing.

Reviewing the Keys of the Game


Evidently, they did not. FEU went off to a scorching start, scoring from fastbreak attempts early on while they stymied UP’s offense, limiting the Fighting Maroons to a solitary field goal made from Kyles Lao (out of 16 attempts by the team in total) and four free throw makes for the entire quarter. It was interesting to note that coach Rey Madrid opted to start the second half with third-string rookie guard Jarrell Lim and Lao on the backcourt. And it clearly backfired them as Tamaraws punished them despite Tolomia, Russel Escoto and Anthony Hargove sitting out the first seven minutes of third quarter.


TOV% Pts Off TOs


12.6 11


21.0 8

It was another decent game for UP, turnover-wise, as they only committed 11 for forty minutes. While the turnover-prone FEU squad had 19 to which UP did not capitalize that much for the entire game, scoring only 11 points off turnovers with majority came early in the first quarter.


Rebounding Splits ORB% DRB% TRB%


20.2 59.3 33.6


43.3 77.3 63.5

I did not see this rebounding onslaught from FEU coming as I mentioned in my game preview that the rebounding battle could go either way. The hustle displayed by FEU’s bigs throughout the game overpowered their UP counterparts in getting the boards. Special mention to Belo who dominated the board with rebounding splits a la Charles Mammie (circa Season 76) of 25/21/23. Other FEU bigs like Anthony Hargrove and Roger Pogoy were also instrumental in the rebounding department for FEU which limit UP to a dreary offensive rebounding rate 0f 20.3 (i.e. only one out of five possible offensive rebounds were clobbered by UP).

Rebounding Splits ORB% DRB% TRB%

Mac Belo

25.0 21.3 22.8

Roger Pogoy

12.6 25.8 20.4

Anthony Hargove

13.9 23.7 19.7 

Games Notes and Observations

1. A lot of field goal attempts by FEU in the first half were taken from the left side. Most of their plays began with a four-out alignment (a staple formation in a dribble-drive motion offense). As FEU swung the ball from one player to another on the right, Gallarza (who was positioned in the left side for majority of the early parts) reacted hurriedly and approached towards the basket (perhaps for the rebound)  which lead to numerous open shots for the FEU man on the left. Fortunately for UP, most of these did not go in.

2. What the heck is Rey Madrid doing with the players’ rotation?  At first, I got excited when Kyles got his first start this season. He played in the first 13 minutes of the game, but played only a total of nine minutes since then which sadly includes a five-minute spell with Jarrell Lim who played subpar in his UAAP debut. Madrid could have pulled Lim out early on as FEU began their huge run and inserted Mikee Reyes (who was not that crazy wild in this game by his standards) instead.

3. Agustini Amar, who hasn’t played a single minute in Season 77 prior to this game, has probably earned his way to the rotation with the brilliance he exhibited in the final four and a half minutes of this game. Amar is a lenghty and athletic wing player which UP can utilize. He can shot from the outside and attack towards the paint off the dribble.

4. Russell Escoto’s  mind-boggling PER of 42.8 prior to this game has plummeted (like how UP did in the third quarter) and descended to normalcy to 25.5 (still pretty high) with a lackluster performance in this game.

Final Thoughts

It will be interesting to see how this UP squad would fare in their next assignment. They’ll be up against the UST Growling Tigers who just eked out a one-point win over Adamson in what could be a formidable candidate for the ugliest game of the season. Expect some tweaks in the rotation which means more minutes perhaps for young guys like Amar,Diego Dario and Gelo Vito, and  zero for Lim.

Featured image courtesy of Voltaire Domingo,NPPA IMAGES/ Yahoo PH Sports