Far Eastern University-Diliman outlasted Adamson University, 77-76, to annex the UAAP Season 85 high school boys basketball crown Friday, Mar. 17, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The Baby Tamaraws won the series, 2-0, for their 4th overall championship in the division since FEU moved its high school to its Diliman campus.
In his final high school game, John Rey Pasaol produced 21 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and four steals while VJ Pre was also huge with 16 points and seven rebounds.
“Yung sinulat ko sa white board kanina, yung ‘effort is the key’. From jumpball pa lang, nakita ko sa kanila yung effort na gusto nilang kunin ang series na ito,” said coach Allan Albano after FEU-Diliman reclaimed the throne it last won in the 2016-17 season.
It was a sorry loss for the Baby Falcons, who reached the Finals for the first time since 2003, as Justine Garcia’s shot clock-beating bank shot was nullified after Albano won the coach’s challenge and Earl Medina bungled the potential game-winning triple in the dwindling seconds that would have sent the series to a deciding Game 3.
“Saludo rin ako sa Adamson. Hindi sila nag-give up until the final buzzer. Hindi basta-basta ibinigay ang series na ito,” said Albano.
Finals MVP Kirby Mongcopa flirted with a triple-double of 13 rebounds, nine assists and nine points to go along with five steals. He had a 20-20 outing in last Tuesday’s opener.
The Baby Tamaraws took a 77-76 advantage with 28.5 seconds remaining after Pasaol nailed four straight free throws and were able to regain possession after Garcia’s basket was canceled.
Garcia finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists while Carlo Bonzalida chipped in 15 points and nine boards for the Baby Falcons.
FEU-D (77) — Pasaol 21, Pre 16, Miranda 10, Felipe 10, Mongcopa 9, Cabonilas 8, Daa 3, Salangsang 0, Pascual 0, Bautista 0, Herbito 0.
AdU (76) — Garcia 20, Bonzalida 15, Medina 12, Rosillo 10, Reyes 9, Edding 8, Abayon 2, Carillo 0, Sajili 0.
Quarterscores: 23-24, 43-46, 61-60, 77-76