Season host FEU Tamaraws win inaugural UAAP 3X3 tournament
MANILA, Philippines – To cap off a historic hosting season, the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws were crowned as the first-ever UAAP 3X3 men’s basketball tournament champions, defeating the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors in the final round, 21-13, at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, Sunday, March 04.
Wendell Comboy waxed hot when it mattered most, scoring all 10 of his points in the championship round off 5 two-pointers (three-pointers in the 5-on-5 format). This included a game-clinching 8-1 run that saw 4 rainbow-range bombs – 3 from Comboy and one from Kenneth Tuffin.
UE star Alvin Pasaol singlehandedly carried the Red Warriors out of the 3-10 hole and got the game within 3, 12-15, but Comboy and team captain Richard Escoto each drained a two-pointer in succeeding possessions to finally put the game away.
The Red Warriors were no slouch in the eliminations and semifinals, however, as they won two games off buzzer-beating twos from Pasaol and Philip Manalang. They were part of Group A that included the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, Adamson Univeristy (AdU) Soaring Falcons and the De La Salle Univeristy (DLSU) Green Archers.
FEU also had a tough hill to climb to get to the finals, as it barely beat the highly-favored University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in the tiebreaking points tally after all Group B teams finished with 1-1 records. The National University (NU) Bulldogs easily led the group and got semis berth with 39 points scored in two games. FEU had 29 while UP was only two points behind with 27. The Tamaraws then downed the similarly favored Green Archers in the semis who featured an ensemble of Aljun Melecio, Andrei Caracut, Santi Santillan and Justine Baltazar.
In the women’s division, the historic powerhouse NU Lady Bulldogs easily won the inaugural tournament thanks to their superteam boasting 3-time MVP Afril Bernardino and Season 80 MVP Jack Animam. They made quick work of the Adamson Lady Falcons in the final match, 14-6, to clinch the title.
After personally overseeing the success of the inaugural tournament, UAAP Commissioner and Executive Director Atty. Rene “Rebo” Saguisag, Jr. said that repeating the 3X3 tournament as a seasonal event would be a “highly recommended” move. Saguisag also hoped in an earlier press conference that the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers would join future tournaments. UST was the only constituent university which did not field a men’s team due to their period of transition under new head coach Aldin Ayo. – Rappler.com
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