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FEU books ticket to Final Four with rout of UE

by Niel Victor Masoy, October 27, 2019 5:12pm

Far Eastern University (FEU) secured its spot in the Final Four after trashing University of the East (UE), 82-58, on Sunday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament at the Ynares Center.

Sophomore point guard L-Jay Gonzales stuffed the stats sheet anew and led the Tamaraws with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, while the graduating guard Wendell Comboy topscored for FEU with 17 points - built on five triples - on top of four rebounds.

Rookie guard Royce Alforque cashed in 13 points and three assists as team captain and Filipino-Kiwi forward Ken Tuffin chipped in nine markers, three boards, and three dimes.

“Who would have thought, usa making it to the Final Four?,” said Tamaraws head coach Olsen Racela post-game.

“Walang nainiwala sa amin eh except yung sa circle namin sa FEU community,” added the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) great.

With the win, FEU improved to an 8-6 win-loss card and notched the solo third spot of the team standings. The Tamaraws can even rise to the second spot should the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons (8-4) lost its last two games in the eliminations.

That is because FEU holds a superior quotient over UP and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers (8-6).

Determined to avoid complications and assure their spot in the Semifinals, the Tamaraws started to pull away in the second period as they unleashed a 25-12 quarter assault to turn a 15-14 into a 14-point buffer, 40-26 halftime advantage.

The hot-shooting Comboy led FEU in the first half as he scored 11 of his total in the first two quarters, while Alec Stockton, and Alforque backstopped him with seven points and six points, respectively.

The Tamaraws then engaged the Red Warriors in a nip-and-tuck battle in the third frame before breaking the game wide open in the fourth, with Gonzales’ trey at the 1:56 mark of the final canto serving as the dagger that gave FEU a 21-point, 76-55 buffer.

FEU, though, did not even stop there and built its largest lead of 24 points, 82-58, following a James Tempra layup with 32 seconds left.

One-and-done winger Rey Suerte paced the already eliminated Red Warriors with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while also adding five steals and four dimes. 

Senegalese center Alex Diakhite also cashed in a double-double of 13 points, 10 boards, three blocks, and two assists, while Jem Cruz poured in 12 points and four rebounds in the loss.

UE suffered its fifth straight loss and fell to a 3-10 record which is good for the seventh spot in the standings.

 

The scores: 

FEU 82 - Comboy 17, Alforque 13, Gonzales 12, Tuffin 9, Stockton 7, Tchuente 5, Ebona 4, Torres 3, Bayquin 2, Bienes 2, Cani 2, Dulatre 2, Nunag 2, Tempra 2, Celzo 0, Mantua 0.

UE 58 - Suerte 16, Diakhite 13, Cruz 12, Tolentino 9, Manalang 5 Apacible 3, Antiporda 0, Beltran 0, Conner 0, Lorenzana 0, Mendoza 0, Pagsanjan 0, Sawat 0.

Quarters: 15-14, 40-26, 57-42, 82-58.

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