- October 23, 2020 12:54
By Joaquin Luis E. Quesada
Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws concluded their season campaign at fourth after being tamed by third-seeded University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers with a grueling do-or-die match, 71-81, in the stepladder semifinals of University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 men’s basketball tournament, November 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Tigers were locked in during the opening period, starting the match with a double-digit lead at 10-20. They continued dominating the Tamaraws by firing nine treys, resulting to distant themselves with a 26-point lead at the end of the half, 28-54.
Wendell Comboy, who bid farewell to the green-and-gold community along with Barkley Eboña, Hubert Cani and Kimlee Bayquin, expressed that they had the lowest first half of their collegiate career.
“We played the worst first half of our lives, tapos last game pa namin (and it’s our last game),” Comboy said.
The Morayta dribblers came out of their dugout charging 28 points in the third quarter, courtesy of shots beyond the arc from FEU skipper Kenneth Tuffin and Cani’s 10 markers. FEU then kept its season alive, getting close to UST as much as five points, 65-70.
But Tigers’ veteran Renzo Subido handed the España-based squad a 13-point cushion with 88 seconds left to seal the game, 65-78, courtesy of his triples. Comboy admitted that they almost had their biggest comeback of the season, yet it was too late.
“Nasingil kami nung fourth quarter na, nakahabol nga kami pero kinapos na kami (We were charged in the fourth quarter, we got back in the game but we fell short),” Comboy said.
Moreover, FEU’s big man Eboña did not have a proper exit as he was ejected of the game with a disqualifying foul on UST’s Soulemane Chabi Yo.
“Masakit kasi siyempre senior ako eh. Sinabi ni coach sa’min dapat kayo mga senior, hindi kayo dapat unang nawawala ng disiplina sa laro (It hurts because I’m a senior. Our coach reminded us that we, seniors, shouldn’t be the first to lose discipline in the game),” Eboña expressed.
He then added, “Masakit lang kasi last game ko hindi man lang ako naka-exit nang maayos, ‘di ko man lang nakanta ‘yung hymn ng FEU (It hurts because this is my last game, I didn’t get a proper exit. I didn’t even get to sing FEU’s hymn).”
Tuffin led the way with 20 points. L-jay Gonzales had a double-double performance of 11 points and nine dimes, while Cani had 10 markers.
Despite already ending their season 82 campaign, FEU head coach Olsen Racela now looks forward to rebuild his team, hoping that spectators will not define their season with what took place against the Tigers.
“I don’t want people to define ‘yung game namin kanina (our game a while ago), [and] to define the season because of what happened today,” Racela beamed.
(See full album: UAAP 82 Men's Basketball - Stepladder - FEU vs UST)