Baby Tams bag UAAP crown

FEU-Diliman celebrates after beating Adamson, 77-76, to win the Season 85 UAAP boys basketball crown yesterday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan. | Photograph courtesy of UAAP

Far Eastern University-Diliman weathered Adamson University’s late fourth quarter surge to carve out a dramatic 77-76 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three finals series and rule the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 boys basketball tournament yesterday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Baby Tamaraws ended a six-year title drought to hoist their ninth title overall after a grueling battle down the stretch where they dodged the bullet when Earl Medina missed a potential game-winning trey from the left corner as time expired.

FEU-Diliman banked on the steady hands of JR Pasaol to regain the lead with four straight free throws for a 77-76 advantage in the last 28.5 seconds.

Pasaol finished with 21 points, eight assists, four steals and four rebounds. VJ Pre had 16 points, Dwayne Miranda and Luke Felipe had 10 while finals Most Valuable Player Kirby Mongcopa had nine points, 13 boards, nine assists, five steals and a block for FEU-Diliman.

The Baby Tamaraws dodged what could’ve been a lethal dagger from Justine Garcia in the last 15 seconds with a crucial use of the coach’s review challenge with FEU protecting a 77-76 lead.
Officials waived off the basket after the review as Garcia did not get his shot off in time.

Pasaol then missed two foul shots but his quick hands forced Mat Edding to turn the ball over.

Miranda bricked his two pressure-packed free throws for FEU with 6.9 ticks left, enough for Adamson to try to salvage its campaign in its first finals appearance in two decades to no avail.

The Baby Tamaraws took the series opener, 85-74, last Tuesday after rallying from 11 points down in the first half.

Adamson used a 12-2 run inside the last five minutes to take a 76-73 lead only to lose steam in the end.

Meanwhile, National University Nazareth School guard Reinhard Jumamoy made history by becoming the first Bullpup to win the Most Valuable Player award.

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