The Games That Play Us: Un-break My Heart

Anthony Hargrove held his own in the paint as
the FEU Tamaraws pulled the rug from under the Tigers.


Two miscues.

When it comes down to it, those two errors in the last minute were the main culprits that sealed UST’s opening day doom.

If you’re an FEU fan, seeing Jeric Teng’s third triple of the game with 1:32 left in the third period probably made you feel queasy. You probably entertained thoughts of going 0-1 a season after making the Finals for the second straight year. You might have felt a little heartbroken.

Good thing then that Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia caught fire in the final frame to derail the Tigers’ otherwise unabated romp. After scoring just 4 points in the first three periods, Romeo, the former Letran Squire and FEU Baby Tamaraw, rifled in 7 straight to put a mighty scare in the Black & Gold. Aljon Mariano and Karim Abdul, who played magnificently, countered with a 4-0 spurt, but, alas, the FEU rampage couldn’t be stopped. FEU outscored UST 12-5 in the next 5 minutes to take the lead, 69-67, less than two minutes to go. Former Xavier Golden Stallion Jeric Teng, however, loaded his guns and shot 5 straight markers to put coach Pido Jarencio’s Tigers back on top. It seemed like FEU would indeed flounder in the endgame again, unless UST committed some blunders.

Well, guess what?

Blunder 1: Arvie Bringas shot the ball from in close as he got open down low for a fleeting moment. The ball rattled around the rim and fell outside the cylinder, BUT a goaltend was called after Kevin Ferrer was caught committing basket interference. UST was still up, 72-71.

Blunder 2: With about 15 ticks remaining, though, Jeric Fortuna tried a crossover move, but his dribble was too high. He lost control, the ball was stolen, and RR Garcia raced to the open court. Easy lay-up, FEU up… FOR GOOD.

So what happened here?

Was it a question of UST not going to Karim Abdul often enough in the fourth quarter, or FEU just clamping down on defense, forcing UST to take low-percentage shots? Should UST have saved at least one more timeout in the end? Perhaps one of those, or all of those.

So what does this mean for FEU? They can count on Romeo and Garcia to un-break the hearts of the Morayta faithful. Count on them to continue giving the Tams a chance in every encounter. Through all the trials they will face this season, and there will be many, this guard tandem still deserves a lion’s share of the attention. The Green & Gold can count on this dynamic duo to un-break their hearts.

And as for UST? Ginto na naging bato pa. It all came down to consistency and composure, and, when they felt the crunch, they committed the mistakes that proved to be fatal. Tsk tsk. 11-12 games down the road, when UST finds itself maybe in the running for a Final Four slot, they’ll look back on this game with those oh-so-painful “what ifs.”


FEU 73 – Garcia 21, Hargrove 14, Romeo 13, Tolomia 8, Pogoy 6, Bringas A 4, Mendoza 3, Cruz 2, Bringas M 2, Belo 0, Escoto 0
UST 72 – Abdul 24, Teng 18, Mariano 10, Bautista 7, Fortuna 6, Afuang 5, Ferrer 2, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Lo 0, Daquioag 0
QS: 18-21, 31-37, 50-60, 73-72
Notable Performers:
RR Garcia (FEU) – 21pts, 7asts, 5rebs, 4 treys
Karim Abdul (UST) – 24pts, 16rebs, 2stls, 1ast
Anthony Hargrove (FEU) – 14pts, 14rebs, 3blks, 2asts

Karim Abdul had a monster first game. Too bad
it wasn't enough to get the W.
The FEU fans cheer on as their boys un-broke their
hearts on opening weekend.
RR Garcia hit the marginal lay-up to snatch victory
from the jaws of defeat.
(image by Juan Benjamin Janeo/
Jeric Teng and the Tigers lost a golden chance
at beating one of last season's Finalists.
(image by Juan Benjamin Janeo/

*"Un-break My Heart" is a song by Toni Braxton.
**Unless otherwise specified, all images are from
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2 Comment

Some of the trouble that Fortuna ran into had to do with his coach. If you look closely, you'll see Pido barking at Fortuna all throughout that final, preventing him from making decisions on his own. Most of what he was saying was "Stop, stop stop,", meaning he wanted Fortuna to continue to bleed the clock. Eventually he said "Go!", with about 7 or so seconds left on the shotclock.

Obviously, this ruined any element of surprise Fortuna may have had. Stuff like trigger moments (the time when an action is started) should be discussed in-huddle, not on court.

Pido = FAIL.


Pido does merit a lot of the blame in this loss, what with the mismanagement of timeouts affecting them in the end, too. Still, they probably would've been able to pull through if not for Ferrer's goaltend or some other bungled plays. Sayang lang talaga. Now they have to work their way back up the ladder.