TAMS GIVE TIGERS SEVERE BEATING; WARRIORS ESCAPE FALCON'S WRATH

MANILA, September 15, 2003 (STAR) By Abac Cordero  - Far Eastern University flexed just enough muscles to beat Santo Tomas last night, 71-58, and get its momentum going heading toward the Final Four of the 66th UAAP season.

The Tamaraws closed out their elims schedule tied with Ateneo at 11-3 and, like the defending champion, will have to wait for the final standings to determine their placing in the Final Four.

As it is, Ateneo and FEU can still fall into a tie with UE at 11-3. In this case, the Blue Eagles, because of a higher quotient, will emerge No. 1 with the Tamaraws and the Warriors disputing the No. 2 spot in a one-game playoff.

The top two teams after the elims will earn a twice-to-beat edge in the semis with the No. 1 team facing No. 4 and No. 2 taking on No. 3. If Ateneo and FEU fall into a two-way tie at 11-3, they will meet in a playoff to dispute the No. 1 spot.

Earlier, UE foiled what could have been a graceful exit for Adamson when it escaped with an 82-76 victory that kept alive the Warriors’ bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis.

Ollan Omiping drilled in the crucial charities down the stretch as UE improved to 10-3 and looked forward to a crucial meeting with La Salle at the close of the elimination round on Thursday.

"We can’t leave our fate in the hands of the other teams. We have to deal squarely with La Salle," said UE coach Boyzie Zamar after reviewing all the complications that may arise heading into the semis.

It was the final game of the 2003 season for the Falcons who, at 5-9, eclipsed their best showing of 4-10 almost 10 years ago..

After the game, which had the Falcons breathing down the necks of the Warriors, Adamson coach Luigi Trillo gathered his players at centercourt for one last hurrah.

"We’ll try to do better next year," vowed the youthful Adamson coach who is expected to field basically the same lineup for the 2004 season.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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