Far Eastern University boosted its bid to claim a Final Four slot while eliminating Adamson University from contention, 63-60, in UAAP Season 82 Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The trio of Wendell Comboy, L-Jay Gonzales, and Ken Tuffin scored 11 points apiece and combined for 22 rebounds. Patrick Tchuente struggled with just four points on 2-for-9 shooting but pulled down 16 boards.
The Tamaraws got their seventh win for a 7-6 record, while the Falcons were booted out of the playoff race with a 4-8 record.
"Well obviously we're happy with the win, our seventh, but actually we haven't done anything yet," said coach Olsen Racela as the Tamaraws are currently fourth in the standings, between the UST Growling Tigers (7-5) and DLSU Green Archers (5-6)
"We have no reason really to celebrate. Tomorrow we'll go back to our preparations versus UE, our last game on Sunday," he added.
FEU faced an Adamson team desperate for a victory to keep its Final Four bid alive. The Tamaraws were by double-digits in the final period but the Falcons kept fighting back relentlessly. Back-to-back hits from Jerom Lastimosa and Lenda Douanga sliced the FEU lead to just two, 62-60, with 1:45 remaining. After a split from the line by Gonzales, the Tamaraws extended their lead to three with a minute and a half left.
Costly turnovers from the Tamaraws prevented them from closing the door on the Falcons. The last error by FEU with 11.4 seconds proved to be critical, giving one last chance for Adamson, however, Lastimosa's long triple missed its mark at the buzzer.
Jerrick Ahanmisi, Aaron Fermin, and Douanga put up 10 points each for Adamson. The Congolese center collected 22 rebounds in a losing effort. Val Chauca meanwhile had a forgettable performance, scoring just one point and went 0-for-9 from the field.
The Tamaraws will close out the elimination round with a matchup against the UE Red Warriors.
"We're peaking at the right time, I think, with the schedule that we had. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise we were able to really prepare in the second round," said Racela regarding his team's tight schedule. "And we just have to prepare hard against UE because UE really has nothing to lose. So I expect them to play well on Sunday."
FEU 63 -- Comboy 11, Gonzales 11, Tuffin 11, Bienes 6, Stockton 6, Nunag 5, Ebona 4, Tchuente 4, Torres 3, Alforque 2, Cani 0.
ADAMSON 60 -- Ahanmisi 10, Douanga 10, Fermin 10, Lastimosa 9, Camacho 6, Manlapaz 5, Sabandal 4, Mojica 3, Yerro 2, Chauca 1, Bernardo 0, Magbuhos 0.
Quarters: 22-12, 43-31, 50-41, 63-60.
- This is the first time in Franz Pumaren's stint with Adamson that the Falcons won't make it into the Final Four.
- FEU committed 22 turnovers which the Falcons converted into 18 points.
FEU - October 27 (Sunday) vs UE at Ynares Antipolo
ADU - October 30 (Wednesday) vs DLSU at SM MOA Arena