Before UE took down NU and DLSU, there was a hint of their upset potential as they stormed out to a 12-2 lead against the FEU Tamaraws in this July 21 game. Unfortunately for them, FEU eventually found their footing, getting a 10-0 run spanning the first two quarters to knot the game, before taking the lead for good. Shutdown defense by the Tams allowed the Red Warriors just seven points in the third, and overall, UE had just four points outside of the paint, leading to the final score, 66-47. Ping Exciminiano top-scored for FEU with 12 markers, while JM Noble showed a hint of his future potential by leading UE with 11. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- The 7-4 FEU Tamaraws smell opportunity, now that the Adamson Falcons have fallen to 9-4. Should Adamson lose their last game, and FEU win out, that could put them at the number two seed, with a twice to win advantage. Even two out of three wins forces a playoff for the incentive, giving them a better chance of booking a return trip to the Finals.
- Firmly out of the playoff hunt with a 2-10 record, the UE Red Warriors are looking to play spoiler. They got a good start versus FEU in round one, and since then they've learned how to close out games, so who knows?
FEU Player to Watch : Lucky FEU as they get a long break before playing the once-again under-performing UE Red Warriors, as that means there's no need to rush RR Garcia back from his ligament sprain in his hand. Someone will have to pick up the slack on offense though, and it could be Ping Exciminiano, who scored 12 against UE in the first round, and was on his way to having a huge scoring night against NU (14 points) before he fouled out early in just 19 minutes of play.
UE Player to Watch : JM Noble has lost his shot after a great two-game stand versus DLSU and ADMU, going from totaling 37 points on 14 of 32 shooting, to seven points on 3 of 14 shooting. All of the other UE scorers have been going through similar slumps, unable to sustain their scoring, and against FEU, they'll need multiple guys to keep the Tams defense honest.
Prediction: FEU Tamaraws