FEU Tamaraws def. Adamson Soaring Falcons 88-85 (OT)
Arvin Tolentino, FEU (19 points, 4 rebounds)
He was on fire and Adamson could not do anything about it. Only Arvin Tolentino could stop Arvin Tolentino, and that’s exactly what he did, getting himself ejected after throwing a clothesline at Sean Manganti. While the impact may have been accidental, Arvin did apologize to Manganti after the game, it was bad enough that Tolentino was forced to wait in the locker room as his squad fended off Adamson that was already breathing down their necks.
Before the disqualifying foul, Arvin Tolentino already made 4 points off isolation plays, sending a message to the Adamson defense that nobody could guard him. Had he stayed in the game that very easily might have been the case and we may not have gotten the overtime thriller we did.
Hubert Cani (14 points, 2/5 3 Points, 2 assists, 3 turnovers) and Wendell Comboy (13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks)
The crafty guard combo of FEU created a lot of problems for Adamson. Against a team that likes to score off turnovers, having excellent ball handlers like Hubert Cani and Wendell Comboy gave FEU the edge for most of the game. FEU held their own with a 16.38% turnover rate, much lower than most opponents of the Soaring Falcons. Once they broke the press, their guards were off to the races looking to score. Even when FEU was forced into their half-court sets, their guards were able to beat their defenders off the dribble, allowing them to build the 17 point lead they had in the fourth quarter.
Simon Camacho (10 points, 11 rebounds)
Living the dream of most college students, Simon Camacho showed why he’s a key player for this Soaring Falcons team, not only going all out on effort grabbing rebounds, but also brandishing his new found confidence in scoring 10 points when they needed it the most. In a team that already has a healthy variety of scoring options, adding Simon Camacho into the mix makes them even more unpredictable, especially when he’s capable of game-tying baskets like the one he put in to send the game into overtime.
Jerrick Ahanmisi (21 points, 4/11 3 Points, 6 rebounds)
He knows he’s the go-to guy and wants to play his role. But FEU was able to put a body on him and check him in overtime when the Falcons needed him the most. Despite all the attention he’s gotten, he still managed to score 21 points, but it was evident he was not used to the intensity. On two occasions Adamson ran the same play to different results. In the first half, they ran an elevator play that got Ahanmisi open enough with a pump fake to hit a three. The same play ran in overtime had Ahamisi’s defender trapped in the elevator but Ahamisi did not pull the trigger, probably thinking he had a defender trailing him.
- FEU’s guards played a big role in this win. Simply not turning the ball over was enough. Not turning the ball over with little effort is good. Not turning the ball over with little effort and scoring is the best case scenario for FEU which they executed beautifully through three and a half quarters.
- This was an intense character game for both teams. With FEU recking their defense, exposing their inability to stay in front of the guards, Adamson still found a way to respond. They cut a 17-point lead to 0 by putting their heads down, continuing to put pressure on FEU and converting big buckets.
- FEU also showed great poise especially in overtime when they lost Arvin Tolentino and Prince Orizu. Despite losing two of their main players, they managed to prevent even a single field goal for Adamson, all while grinding their way to buckets on their end.
- Both FEU and Adamson come out of this game looking like legitimate contenders. Yes, even Adamson. You do not watch a team erase a 17- point lead and force overtime and tell me they are not the real deal. The same goes for defeating the undefeated.
- Arvin Tolentino is fun to watch when he’s hitting his shots.
- No, 5 straight wins and a buzzer beater is not luck.