ANTIPOLO - Wendell Comboy chose the perfect time to catch fire, leading Far Eastern University to the Final Four of the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament with an 82-58 drubbing of University of the East on Sunday at the Ynares Center.
The graduating guard shot 5-of-7 from three-point distance for his 17 points while grabbing four rebounds off the bench as he led the Tamaraws' 12-of-31 shooting from deep.
FEU improved to 8-6 (win-loss) and sealed a place in the semifinals thanks to a superior quotient over University of Santo Tomas, which sports an identical record.
L-Jay Gonzales also set the Tamaraws up in the victory with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, while Royce Alforque got 13 points and three dimes.
Ken Tuffin also went 3-of-8 from beyond the arc to wind up with nine points, three boards, and three assists as the Tamaraws ended the eliminations with three straight victories.
"Well, who would have thought?" said coach Olsen Racela, fully aware of the tough road FEU had to go through to make the semifinals.
"Di ba, of us making it to the Final Four? Walang naniwala sa amin except sa mga nasa loob ng circle namin, and of course, the FEU community."
FEU banked on a 25-point second quarter to build a 40-26 cushion at halftime and never eased up on the gas pedal after the break.
Rey Suerte pulled the Red Warriors within 11, 53-42, late in the third quarter, but the three-point shooting was just on point for the Tamaraws, with Xyrus Torres' trey putting it up by 24, 67-43, with 5:37 remaining.
Racela said the job isn't over for FEU.
"We're not done yet. Our goal every year is to make it to the Final Four, then we move on. We’ve achieved our first goal, next goal na kami," he said.
UE fell to its fifth straight defeat to fall to 3-10.
Suerte nabbed a double-double in the losing effort for the Red Warriors with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five steals, and four assists, while Alex Diakhite tallied 13 points, 10 boards, three blocks, and two dimes.
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.