The Fighting Maroons dropped to 1-2 this early season as they fell to the FEU Tamaraws 73-89 for their second straight loss. Juan Gomez De Liaño was limited to just 13 points (just about half of his season average of 22.5 points per game) while Orizu, Tolentino, and Comboy had 15, 13, and 12 respectively to lead a balanced attack by the Morayta-based cagers.
The Tamaraws started off strong, scoring the first 8 points of the game triggering a timeout from the Fighting Maroons. It was only until three minutes into the first quarter that veteran Christopher Vito finally put the boys from Diliman on the board with a three-pointer, 3-8. Jun Manzo’s jumpshot with a little over 5 minutes left in the first quarter put the Maroons within 4, 8-12, but the team was unable to pull closer. The first quarter ended with the Maroons trailing 13-25. This set the pace for the game as the Tamaraws never looked back and the Maroons never tasted the lead for the entire game.
The second quarter saw much of the same as both teams exchanged baskets. The Maroons were unable to cut into the lead and Tamaraw Hubert Cani added insult to injury, hitting a buzzer-beating three-pointer to secure a 35-49 lead for FEU at the half.
The third quarter was a drought for the Maroons as they made only 4 shots the entire quarter in stark contrast with the 9 baskets by the Tamaraws. Halfway into the quarter, the Tamaraws extended their lead to 24, 39-63, led by 5 points each from Wilson Comboy and Ken Tuffin.
The Maroons started the last quarter with a 10-0 run capped by back-to-back baskets by Jerson Prado, cutting the lead to 13, 56-69, with a little over seven minutes to go but the Tamaraws answered back with 7 unanswered of their own, with 5 of those 7 coming from Cani, bringing the lead back to 20, 56-76 with 6 minutes left. The Tamaraws had an answer for every run the Maroons attempted to mount and the game ended as a 73-89 loss for the boys from Diliman.
“I guess we caught UP in an off night [for their team],” FEU Head Coach Olsen Racela remarked, humbling his team and their efforts to bring them up the standings. He says that as a coach, he can’t remain satisfied with just one good game, and resting can wait. “I won’t relax with these guys. One week, kung paano kami nag prepare last week ganun din gagawin ko.
The Maroons will look to stop their skid and go back to their winning ways against the Adamson Falcons on 26 September 2018.