Tams shackle EAC Generals, reach quarters

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Reigning UAAP champion Far Eastern University clamped down on defense in the second quarter then went on to overpower Emilio Aguinaldo College, 73-52, yesterday and move into the quarterfinals of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup at The San Juan Arena.

Trailing by just two after 10 minutes, the Tams held the Generals to a solitary point in the second quarter while pouring in 19 points as they stormed to a 34-18 bulge and never looked back.

Monbert Arong and Steve Holmqvist presided over that strong attack and finished with 20 and 19 points, respectively, powering the Tams to their third straight victory and fourth overall after starting their campaign with a disappointing 1-3 mark.

“We’ve been emphasizing on our defense in our last few games and I’m happy we made a good effort in this game,” said FEU coach Nash Racela, back at the bench after steering the Gilas Cadet team to the Southeast Asian Basketball Association gold in Thailand recently.

The Tams’ smothering defense in the second period kept the Generals without a field goal with the EAC’s lone output in the quarter coming from Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou.

Assured of a spot in the next round, the Tams could face Group B’s La Salle if they wind up at No. 4 in Group A or San Beda or Ateneo with a No. 3 finish in the elims.

Racela though is just happy to make it this far.

“We’re taking it one game at a time because we’re more concerned in gaining more experience and becoming more cohesive as a team as we prepare for our title retention campaign in the UAAP,” said Racela.

The quarterfinals start Tuesday.

The Generals fell to 1-6.

San Sebastian bucked the absence of Michael Calisaan, who figured in a motorcycle accident recently, as it routed University of the Philippines, 82-72, to stay in the quarterfinal race.

The Stags could advance if the Perpetual Help Altas lose to the St. Benilde Blazers at press time.                                                                        


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