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MANILA, Philippines – With the UAAP Season 81 Final Four race coming down to the wire, the FEU Tamaraws’ season is now teetering at the edges of both the playoffs and elimination.
After UP (7-6) took advantage and booted out a demoralized UST side that lost super rookie CJ Cansino to a left knee injury, they have now clinched at least a playoff for the Final Four with La Salle waiting as their final opponent in the elimination round.
Meanwhile, FEU, running 5th at 6-6, still has to go through that same path by defeating a team with nothing left to lose, the 3-9 NU Bulldogs.
Being two squads who pride themselves of their scoring balance, a timely eruption from certain players could spell the difference between winning and losing.
Wendell Comboy and John Lloyd Clemente share one specific trait that defenses fear the most: when they get their streak going from downtown, any team is at their mercy.
Their scoring averages are very deceptive, as both are capable of dropping 15-25 points on a good day.
Comboy has already been a one-time UAAP Player of the Week after dropping 18 points on NU in the first round. The next game, he dropped 13 markers plus two clutch blocks to stun Adamson. For the most part, he has shown to be a reliable two-way veteran in the Tamaraws’ playoff push.
Meanwhile, Clemente has proved to be a late-blooming rookie alongside day-one stud Dave Ildefonso after posting 21– and 25-point games in the second round for the upstart Bulldogs. “JLC” has also proved to be an accurate gunner, currently averaging a team-best 38.8% from downtown.
Whether experience or raw talent prevails will be seen in their 12 pm clash on Sunday, November 11 at the Araneta Coliseum.
A win would propel the Tamaraws back into a share of 4th place to stay in Final Four contention.
Overall, both teams like to slow it down and engage in grind-out games. NU currently averages the second-lowest points in the league at just 69.8 points per game while FEU norms the third-lowest marks at 72.6 per contest.
The physical Tams are also the slowest team in the league with just a 75.97 pace. NU is right next to them at 76.14.
As a result of their methodical approach to the game, NU currently averages the least turnovers in the league with just 14.4 per game. Likewise, the guard-heavy FEU is still relatively careful, pacing with the fourth-fewest giveaways at 15.2 a night.
As stated earlier, both teams like to really dig deep into their rotations to achieve balanced outputs. As a result, FEU ranks first in bench points with 36.6 a game with NU at a close second with 33.8 markers from the pine.
The only real advantage FEU has is its shot selection, as the Tams are currently the second-most efficient team with a 40.3% shooting clip. The younger NU, meanwhile, has lagged behind at 38.3% in sixth place.
Can FEU’s veteran core outsmart the young ones or will NU’s massive potential lead to an upset win? – Rappler.com