Tams get back at Maroons, forge tie for third

    FROM goat to hero.

    Graduating gunner Wendell Comboy refused to let a big win slip from Far Eastern University’s hands against a gritty University of the Philippines yesterday.

    Comboy sank a tough fadeaway jumper in last 18.3 ticks as the Tamaraws outlasted the Fighting Maroons 82-79 in overtime for their second straight win and forged a share of third in the 82nd UAAP basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Comboy missed on a potential game-winning triple try at the end of regulation.

    UP forward Javi Gomez de Liaño had a chance to send the game into a second extension but his last-gasp attempt from beyond the arc missed at the buzzer.

    Kenneth Tuffin led FEU with 18 points, on top of five rebounds and one assist while L-Jay Gonzales scored a career-high 17 points, grabbed 12 boards, and dished out six dimes.

    In the other game, La Salle ripped National University 85-61 for its second straight victory.
    Reed-thin slotman Justine Baltazar notched 25 points and 25 rebounds— both career-bests, to go with two assists and two rejections for the Green Archers while Andrei Caracut backed him up with 16 markers, six caroms, and five feeds.

    Jamie Malonzo also had 12 points for La Salle, which improved to 4-4 in a tie with UST and FEU and handed the Bulldogs their second straight loss and seventh in eight games.

    Six-foot-10 Cameroonian import Patrick Tcuente, Xyrus Torres, and Comboy also finished with 14, 12, and 10 points, respectively, as the Tams hiked their record to 4-4 in a three-way tie with University of Santo Tomas and La Salle and handed the Maroons their second loss in a row and the first in coach Bo Perasol’s three-game suspension.

    FEU bounced back from its 55-61 defeat to UP last Sept. 4.

    The Tams came off an 83-71 victory over Adamson University last Sept. 28.

    UP failed to recover from its crushing 63-89 setback to defending two-time champion Ateneo last Sept. 29.

    “Hard-fought win for us. Dirediretso ang games namin and our first four games are against teams that beat us in the first round. But like I told them, you just focus on what’s right in front of you, which is UP,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela.