FEU Tamaraws def. UE Red Warriors 80-61
Barkley Ebona, FEU (12 points, 16 rebounds)
FEU dominated in large part to their frontline. Though Prince Orizu was still out, Ebona more than made up for his absence. He lived up to his namesake as he dominated UE’s reltively weaker frontline. He was constantly outmuscling and outmuscling his defenders for position inside the paint.
Arvin Tolentino, FEU (18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block)
Tolentino is really continuing to put everything together even after his long suspension. He hit four threes on a good clip and even pulled out a dream shake in one sequence. His defense was also impressive, especially against Alvin Pasaol before he exploded.
Kenneth Tuffin, FEU (17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block)
Tuffin started off FEU’s three-point shooting barrage and didn’t look back. All five of his makes were from deep and it looked like he had a three in the chamber for every time the Red Warriors threatened with a rally.
- The first quarter really set the tone for the whole game. Their starting lineup of Jasper Parker, Alec Stockton, Tuffin, Tolentino and Ebona was a big part of that. You have Parker running the show with Tuffin and Tolentino spacing the floor while Stockton and Ebona provided the hustle. It worked remarkably well as the Tamaraws hit three after three. The defense was where this lineup really shined, as their length and size frustrated UE especially with their full-court pressure and 2-3 zone. The Red Warriors didn’t really have an answer for that.
- FEU’s defense on individual Red Warriors was impressive as well. They managed to lock down Philip Manalang (just 6 points and 1 assist) who torched them in their first-round meeting with a double-double. This effectively shut down UE’s half-court offense since they depend a whole lot on Manalang’s creation. They also contained Pasaol as much as possible. Yes, he did end with 24 points but he needed 29 shots to get there. He also started the game 0/8 thanks in no small part to FEU’s tough defense. They dared him to shoot from outside and shut off any possible driving lane. They kept rotating different defenders on him as well, including Stockton, Tuffin, and Tolentino.
- There weren’t a lot of positives for UE in this one but credit has to go to the play of Jojo Antiporda. He only tallied 3 points and 2 assists in 12 minutes but he looked steady at the point when he was on the floor. He did a pretty good job in place of the struggling Manalang and was actually a big reason why they were able to go on a couple of mini-runs throughout the game. The best word to describe his play is “steady.” That’s pretty hard to do as a rookie point guard so kudos to him.