The FEU Tamaraws secured their first victory in UAAP Season 82 after drubbing the UE Red Warriors, 81-65, Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Guards Wendell Comboy and L-Jay Gonzales recorded career-highs in scoring. Comboy topped with 24 points, including six makes from 3-point range, and three rebounds, while Gonzales delivered 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and three steals.
"It's always nice to get your first win of the season," said FEU coach Olsen Racela. "I've been telling my players to play every play, play every possession. Now that we got one win, we wanna play another game and try to win more."
Coming off a loss to UP last Wednesday, the Tamaraws went off to a rousing start against the Red Warriors, opening the game with eight straight points. With Gonzales at the forefront, they kept their foot on the gas pedal and built a double-digit lead in the first half.
Senegalese big man Alex Diakhite exploded for 15 points in the third quarter to lead UE's comeback efforts. But FEU made a quick 10-0 rally early in the fourth to make it a 15-point ballgame.
Diakhite continued to muscle his way inside but the Red Warriors could not stop the Tamaraws' aggressiveness on the other end. UE remained scoreless in the last three and a half minutes of the contest, allowing FEU to come away with a 16-point win.
The Tamaraws displayed their crisp ball movement in the contest as they ended up with 24 assists, 14 of which coming from Gonzales and Barkley Eboña.
Diakhite and Rey Suerte came up with double-double performances, but the Red Warriors failed to halt their 11-game losing skid in the UAAP dating back to last season.
FEU improved to 1-1 in the team standings, while UE fell to 0-2.
FEU 81 -- Comboy 24, Gonzales 14, Tchuente 9, Ebona 7, Cani 7, Torres 6, Tuffin 5, Bienes 5, Stockton 2, Alforque 2, Celzo 0, Bayquin 0.
UE 65 -- Diakhite 21, Suerte 17, Abanto 8, Manalang 8, Mendoza 4, Sawat 3, Pagsanjan 2, Apacible 2, Cruz 0, Tolentino 0, Camacho 0, Beltran 0, Antiporda 0.
Quarters: 17-10, 34-25, 58-51, 81-65.