The Far Eastern University Tamaraws are back in the Finals for the second straight year after a Mac Belo buzzer-beater shot, 76-74, sending the green-and-gold crowd in uproar last Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Big man Belo—who was famous for his corner triple last season against the De La Salle Green Archers—is hero again after a follow-up shot with only 0.4 seconds left in the clock.
Both teams struggled to escape deadlock at 74-all with forty seconds left in the final period—to have futile attempts coming from FEU’s Russel Escoto and Ateneo rookie Adrian Wong.
FEU guard Mike Tolomia took the charge with seven ticks left in the clock, zigzagging his way to the board only to miss his chance at a game-winner.
Belo then seized the ball and released it moments before the buzzer went off in front of a dismayed Ateneo crowd.
King Eagle Ravena finished his UAAP career with 25 points, three rebounds and two assists while fellow graduating teammate Von Pessumal contributed 15 points.
RR Pogoy was the top scorer for the Morayta-based squad with 16 points while Mac Belo and Tolomia combined for 28 markers.
FEU is first to enter Finals and is yet to face the winner of the NU-UST duel, where UST holds a twice-to-beat advantage.
FEU (76): Pogoy 16, Belo 15, Tolomia 13, Inigo 9, Dennison 6, Jose 5, Escoto 4, Orizu 4, Arong 4, Tamsi 0
Ateneo (74): Ravena 25, Wong 17, Pessumal 15, Gotladera 8, Ikeh 4, Ma. Nieto 2, Go 2, Capacio 1, Babilonia 0, Black 0, Tolentino A. 0, Pingoy 0, Tolentino M. 0