ROOKIE Terrence Romeo unloaded 15 of his 21 markers in the second half to help Far Eastern University clobber pesky University of the Philippines, 94-70, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The former Baby Tamaraws, who rose to prominence last year by scoring a record 83 points in a single junior's game, listed four assists and two steals.

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"Sa umpisa, nahihirapan talaga ako kasi maraming malalaki at matured na maglaro. Buti na lang at andiyan ang mga teammates ko para alalayan ako," said the 18-year-old Sports and Recreational Management student.

Bigman Reil Cervantes knocked in 18 points on seven-of-11 shooting while sophomore guard Ryan Roose Garcia added 11 markers and six boards en route to FEU's fourth straight win in the 73rd UAAP men's basketball tournament.

"Ako na siguro ang pinakamasayang coach kasi kami ang leading team. I'm happy for the boys, nag-step up talaga sila. Hindi lang kasi isa ang nagco-contribute," said mentor Glenn Capacio.

The hapless Maroons tried to shave the lead of the Tamaraws by moving closer to 52-57 with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter.

But that's the last stand for the Maroons as graduating player Woody Co made an early exit due to an injury while the other members failed to snap FEU's concrete defense.

Co-captain Martin Reyes made 16 points, nine of which came from beyond the arc, four rebounds and two assists while Magi Sison added 11 points for the Diliman-based squad's losing cause.

The Tamaraws listed its highest scoring game since August 5, 2006, when it defeated Adamson University, 98-78.

It was also the season when FEU failed to enter the Final Four since the format was introduced in 1994.

Adamson survives UST

Adamson University, on the other hand, delivered clutch plays to survive a gritty University of Santo Tomas, 75-71 in the second match.

Lester Alvarez topscored for the Soaring Falcons with 22 points, two markers shy of his career-high posted last year, plus two rebounds, two assists and steal.

"Crucial talaga para sa amin na mag-step up lalo na pa pag patapos na ang laro. Ang sabi nga ni coach sa amin, kayang-kaya naming talunin ang lahat ng teams sa UAAP," he said.

Janus Lozada and Alex Nuyles, meanwhile, teamed up for 19 points to put AdU at a tie with De La Salle in second place (3-1), half game behind idle Far Eastern University (4-0).

"This game is really special because it really helped us to be matured. Kasi noon, talagang kinakapos kami pag end-game na. I should be proud of my players because they did their best, yung maturity nila tinutukan namin at yung composure intact talaga during the game," said coach Leo Austria.

The nip-and-tuck affair also produced 16 triples for UST, which tied the league-best record seen in the UP-UST duel last July 22 and National University versus Adamson in September 7, 2006.

The Growling Tigers posted 55.2 percent shooting beyond the rainbow country as opposed to the Falcon's 40 percent.

UST dropped to an even 2-2 card with the loss as Jeric Teng exploded for a career-high 23 points in a match dotted with seven deadlocks and 11 leadchanges.

The Scores

First Game:

FEU (94)- Romeo 21, Cervantes 18, Garcia 11, Exciminiano 10, Ramos 9, Noundou 8, Cawaling 8, Bringas 6, Cruz 3, Mendoza 0, Foronda 0, Sanga 0, Knuttel 0, Guerrero 0.

UP (70) - Reyes 16, Sison 14, Silungan 11, Lopez 10, Padilla 9, Juruena 4, Saret 2, Reyes 2, Co 2, Pascual 0, Manuel 0, Evangelista 0, Hipolito 0, Gomez 0.

Quarters: 28-18, 50-33, 71-55, 94-70.

Second Game:

Adamson (75)- Alvarez 22, Lozada 10, Nuyles 9, Manyara 8, Camson 8, Colina 7, Canada 6, Cabrera 3, Stinnett 2, Etrone 0, Galinato 0, Basilio 0.

UST (71)- Teng 23, Fortuna 15, Camus 11, Bautista 11, Mariano 5, Pe 2, Daquiog 2, Afuang 2,Wong 0, Tinte 0, Mamaril 0, Lo 0.

Games Thursday (Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City)

2 p.m. - La Salle vs. FEU

4 p.m. - NU vs. UST

Team Standings

Far Eastern University 4-0

De La Salle University 3-1

Adamson University 3-1

Ateneo de Manila University 2-2

National University 2-2

University of Santo Tomas 2-2

University of the East 0-4

University of the Philippines 0-4

(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)