WENDELL Comboy was quick to redeem himself to lift Far Eastern University to an 82-79 overtime win over University of the Philippines on Sunday in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
The senior guard drained the tough fadeaway jumper with 18.3 seconds left to give the Tamaraws the three-point cushion they needed to hold off a UP side that came storming back from 19-points down to force extra time.
Javi Gomez de Liano still had a shot to force a second overtime, but his trey missed its mark as the Fighting Maroons suffered back-to-back losses in the first of three games that coach Bo Perasol is sitting out to serve a suspension.
It was the perfect redemption for Comboy, whose trey rimmed out at the buzzer at the end of regulation. He scored five of his 10 points in the extra frame, while also collecting five rebounds and three assists.
"Hard-fought win for us. Dire-diretso 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 coach Olsen Racela.
"That's what we did. We just took it possession-by-possession, focused on every second. We started well, didn't end well sa regulation pero nakabalik kami nung overtime."
Ken Tuffin finally had his breakout game of the season with 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from threes, to go with five rebounds. L-Jay Gonzales had a career-best 17 points, on top of his 12 boards and six dimes in the victory that lifted FEU to joint third place with UST and La Salle on 4-4 cards.
Cameroonian big man Patrick Tchuente also had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Tamaraws while Xyrus Torres scored 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 sniping from deep.
UP refused to lose even after staring at a 69-53 deficit with 5:58 remaining, using a 16-0 blast capped off by a Javi Gomez de Liano steal and lay-up to tie the game at 69.
Kobe Paras paced the Fighting Maroons with 22 points, nine rebounds, and six steals. Bright Akhuetie also got 14 points, 11 boards, two assists, and two blocks, while Gomez de Liano had 11 points and four rebounds.
UP fell to 5-3.
FEU 82 - Tuffin 18, Gonzales 17, Tchuente 14, Torres 12, Comboy 10, Stockton 5, Cani 4, Eboña 2, Alforque 0, Bayquin 0, Bienes 0, Celzo 0, Nunag 0.
UP 79 - Paras 22, Akhuetie 14, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 11, Ju. Gomez de Liaño 8, Manzo 7, Tungcab 5, Rivero 4, Spencer 3, Webb 3, Prado 2, Jaboneta 0, Murrell 0.
Quarters: 18-17, 30-27, 60-43, 69-69, 82-79.