Tams survive Warriors’ fury in 2 overtimes
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Far Eastern U survived a roller-coaster game, grinding out a hard-earned 98-94 double overtime victory over University of the East to arrest a mild skid and stay on top in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tourney at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

The Tams drew a college career-high 30 points from Terrence Romeo, the same player who scored a league-best 83 points in his junior year. He was supported by Gryann Mendoza (15), Mike Tolomia (13), and Anthony Hargrove (12) as well as a host of bench players who made up for the absence of suspended RR Garcia in notching their first win after a 0-2 start in the second round.

An overjoyed and relieved FEU coach Nash Racela entered the press-room after his wards picked up their eighth win in 10 games, maintaining a one-win cushion against second-running National U (7-3). The Warriors saw their three-game roll halted and dropped to 5-4 in a tie for fourth with Ateneo, which nipped Adamson in the first game, 79-66.

“I’m happy because my players didn’t give up. There was one point in the first overtime when we’re down by seven with seconds to go and I told them anything is possible and they believed that. I’m so, so proud of my team. This is the first time I’m saying this,” he said.

“I’m relieved because it finally ended after two overtimes. I don’t know how but this kind of games makes you stronger. To think that RR wasn’t there,” he added.

FEU appeared headed for an easy win when they seized an 11-point lead in regulation, but UE made a fierce fightback and forced the extra period. The Tams found themselves staring at a 77-84 deficit with 22 seconds left in the first OT but drew deep from their willpower to tie things up behind the triples of Mendoza and Tolomia in between Romeo’s basket.

Mendoza and Romeo joined hands in an 8-0 salvo to give FEU a 95-91 cushion in the second extension, as Hargrove helped put the finishing touches with a bucket and a split in the end game.

Earlier, defending champion Ateneo squandered a 27-point lead but recovered in time to beat Adamson and vault closer to the upper half of the standings.

It was the fourth straight victory for the Blue Eagles, who improved to 5-4 overall.

ADAMSON ANTHONY HARGROVE ATENEO BLUE EAGLES FAR EASTERN U GRYANN MENDOZA MENDOZA AND ROMEO MENDOZA AND TOLOMIA MIKE TOLOMIA NASH RACELA
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