GOOD START FOR FEU
Madjaw Construction-backed Tamaraws recover to beat Cebu’s 7A’s-USJ-R in Bayugan hoop
Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur — The Madjaw Construction-Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws groped for form early but got their rhythm going when it mattered most as they rallied past the 7A’s-University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 68-53, yesterday at the start of the cash-rich Mayor Kim Lope A. Asis 1st Collegiate Invitational Basketball Tournament at the packed Lope Asis Memorial Gymnasium here.
The Tamaraws, the reigning UAAP champions, staged a torrid run in a crucial stretch in the third period then pulled away in the final stanza to break into the win column in the five-team tournament that offers a top purse of P200,000 cash.
“We have about 10 players who are not part of our main rotation last year. They’re still adjusting. Plus, in the first half, it seemed the focus was not there. We just told the players to respect their opponents, and they responded well,” said Ryan Betia, the Cebuano assistant coach of FEU.
Though FEU started the game with a 5-0 run, USJ-R of head coach Jun Noel owned the first half and took a 33-29 lead at the turn.
The Jaguars stretched the lead to 38-30 early in the third, scoring a string of baskets that saw Miguel Gastador completing a rim-rattling, two-handed dunk.
The highlight reel earned Gastador P500 cash, a prize that was dangled by Bayugan City Mayor Kim Lope A. Asis for the first two players who could complete a dunk.
But after Gastador’s high-flying stunt, things went sour for the Jaguars when they started firing blanks.
FEU started to wax hot, rattling off 12 straight points to surge ahead, 42-30. It built double-digit leads the rest of the way to seal the come-from-behind win.
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