FAR Eastern University Tamaraws and University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons drew first blood in the Passi Invitational Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament in Passi City, Iloilo.
Tamaraws leaned on its veteran crew led by Prince Orizu, Arvin Tolentino, Hubert Cani, Richard Escoto, and Kenneth Tuffin to stave off the rookie-laden National University Bulldogs 85-64 on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-9 Nigerian center Orizu dominated from inside to finish with 21 points for Tamaraws. John Lloyd Clemente, meanwhile, anchored the offense of Bulldogs with 17 markers.
Fighting Maroons, meanwhile, got a huge lift from Ricci Rivero, Bright Akhuetie, Andres Desiderio, and Jerson Prado as it cruised to an 84-61 win over University of San Jose-Recoletos.
The lopsided affair turned awry midway in the second half when Rivero was hit on the neck by USJ-R’s Tricky Peromingan, leading to the latter’s ejection. Rivero finished with 17 markers for Maroons.
Tournament action resumes on Day 3 of the eliminations Friday with Fighting Maroons battling Tamaraws at 4:30 p.m. and Bulldogs facing USJ-R at 6 p.m.
Passi City Sports Development Officer III Randy Palomaria said the top two finishers after Friday’s matches will get on the knockout finals on Saturday while the last two will fight for third place./PN