Tigers upend Knights; Tams maul Bulldogs
MANILA, Philippines - University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern U came away with a pair of routs to arrange a showdown for the last semifinal berth in the 12th Philippine Collegiate Champions League at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City yesterday.
The Tigers rode on a big third quarter run to blast the Letran Knights, 77-60, in a duel of runners-up in this year’s collegiate leagues, while the Tams also struck in the second half to smother the National U Bulldogs, 88-70.
UST and FEU face off at 4 p.m. today with the winner joining NCAA champion San Beda and UAAP titlist La Salle and Visayan Leg winner Southwestern U in the round-robin semis starting Dec. 9 at The Arena in San Juan City.
Clark Bautista buried seven triples and topscored with 23 points while finishing with six assists and three rebounds. He sizzled in the fourth with four treys as the Tigers put away the Knights, whom they eliminated for the second straight year.
The Tams proved more impressive with a dominating run in the second half as American Anthony Hargrove and Mike Tolomia combined for a whopping 52 points in blowing away the Bulldogs, who led at the turn, 42-36, but were outscored, 11-29, in the third.
“Going to the first two games, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said FEU coach Nash Racela, after losing the prolific pair of Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia to the pros.
“But so far I’m getting surprises by the game. Ball movement and defense were good today (yesterday) especially in the second half,” he added.
The Tigers and the Tams are both ex-champions of this annual league staking P100,000 to the winner with the former going all the way last year and the latter reigning supreme twice in 2004 and 2005.
The Knights, who edged the Tigers by a point in their benefit game for victims of Typhoon Yolanda two weeks ago, appeared in control after racing to a 24-16 lead after 10 minutes.
But UST cut the deficit to 32-33 at the break and like FEU, surged to a 52-42 heading to the fourth.