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Bautista's game-winner tows Tamaraws past Blazers for FilOil semis berth

MANILA, Philippines -- Jorick Bautista played the hero for Far Eastern University as he sank a game-winning 3-pointer to guide the Tamaraws to the FilOil EcoOil ECJ Preseason Cup semifinals over the Benilde Blazers, 74-73, Saturday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Bautista, who was struggling the whole game, made the biggest basket of the game.

With FEU trailing by two, 71-73, with three seconds to go after a Tony Ynot layup, the Tamaraws inbounded the ball to Bautista, who received the ball from way beyond the arc.

He then faced the rim, launched and made the basket as time expired for the win, 74-73.

Veejay Pre led the Tamaraws' charge with 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Janrey Pasaol added 19, while Mo Konateh chipped in with a double-double of 15 markers and 14 boards. Bautista finished with five points on 2-of-11 field goal shooting.

Jhommel Ancheta led the Blazers with 20 points.

The game went down the wire with Benilde leading by four, 66-62, with 2:30 remaining.

A 7-2 run by FEU capped by a Pre triple gave the Tamaraws the lead 69-68.

Ynot would answer with a trey of his own to grab the lead, 71-69,and Pasaol tied it up at 71 with eight seconds remaining.

Ynot answered with the cold-blooded layup, before Bautista's shot ended the game and the Blazers' FilOil campaign.

In the curtain-raiser, the Letran Knights pulled away late to barge into the semis over the University of the East Red Warriors, 70-66.

UE led by three, 66-63, with four minutes to go after a layup by Precious Momowei.

Letran, then, banked their UAAP opponents the rest of the way as they ended the game with a 7-0 run capped by the dagger free throws by Deo Cuajao with 16 seconds left.

Cuajao spearheaded the Knights with 22 points, followed by Jonathan Manalili with 19.

John Abate topscored for the Warriors with 14 markers.

FEU will be facing the winner of the quarterfinal bout between the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and the Mapua Cardinals, while Letran will battle the winner between the La Salle Green Archers and the San Beda Red Lions.

The semifinals will be held on Sunday at the same venue.