The Games that Play Us: Close Shave

RR Garcia and the Tamaraws escape another
close one in the 2nd round.
(image by Diana Moraleda/

FEU Tamaraows over the AdU Soaring Falcons, 62-61

Coach Bert Flores has got to take Terrence Romeo out during those endgame plays. The soph almost cost the Tams another game by bungling another pass.

Thanks to Eric Camson’s late missed free-throw, however, the Green & Gold were able to grab solo third behind their victims.

Here’s the truth: had Eric Camson made that fourth freebie, Adamson would have had its 8th win in 10 games. Instead, they precariously remain at second just a game ahead of their tormentors. Oh, yeah, Austin Manyara gave the Falcons an extra possession that Alex Nuyles negated with a bungled pass. So much for execution in the clutch.

Alex Nuyles bungled an important play in crunchtime.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Crying over spilled milk? Yes, sure, but that doesn’t prevent this from being true – the roles were reversed in this one. FEU was a bit more poised down the stretch than Adamson, and the result is a close shave that could eventually spell the difference in the Final Four race.

Consider this: FEU has to play NU, UE, UST and DLSU. All of those are winnable for an FEU squad that has shown amazing resiliency despite being plagued by a myriad of injuries. They will probably not lose another game, which could put them at 10-4.

Adamson, on the other hand, has UP, UE, UST and then the high-flying Blue Eagles. The Falcons should win all those games handily, except for the one against Ateneo. They will probably end up with the same record as FEU at 10-4, which will lead to a de facto best-of-three affair for a Finals slot.

Ping Exciminiano did his part in making life
difficult for the King Falcon.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Oh the possibilities.

In order for the Falcons to surpass those expectations, though, coach Leo Austria will have to steady them better in crunchtime, and they can ill-afford to have nobody finish in double figures aside from Alex Nuyles ever again. And can someone please tell Lester Alvarez to pick his threes better? He hit some big ones late in the game, but methinks the Falcons wouldn’t be in such a sorry state had Alvarez looked for higher percentage options early on. He finished with just 1 assist. One. Against 8 attempts from beyond the arc. Yeah, great. What a point guard.

Russel Escoto and the rest of FEU grab a hold of
3rd spot ahead of the Archers & Tigers.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
On the other end of the spectrum, FEU’s record belies their troubles. They’ve gone 2-1 in the second round, but it could have just as easily been 0-3 had UP and Adamson played a little smarter in the fourth quarter. The Tamaraws are getting by, if barely, and it seems one big loss/upset might be enough blow their season to smithereens. They need a statement game to reaffirm their contender status because repeated close shaves will eventually take their toll.

FEU 62 – Ramos 18, Garcia 14, Romeo 14, Tolomia 8, Escoto 4, Exciminiano 2, Cruz 2, Mendoza 0, Bringas 0, Pogoy 0, Knuttel 0
AdU 61 – Nuyles 17, Alvarez 9, Camson 9, Lozada 8, Cañada 7, Brondial 6, Cabrera 4, Manyara 1, Etrone 0, Colina 0, Petilos 0
QS: 14-12, 30-24, 47-39, 62-61

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