UAAP: FEU encouraged by strong performance against Ateneo

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2019 05:15 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2019 05:28 PM

UAAP: FEU encouraged by strong performance against Ateneo 1
FEU guard Ino Comboy attempts a lay-up against Ateneo. UAAP

MANILA, Philippines -- "We can compete at that level."

This was what Far Eastern University (FEU) veteran Ino Comboy took away from their UAAP Season 82 game against Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday, which saw the Tamaraws suffer a 65-55 defeat against the defending champions.

The Blue Eagles suffocated the Tams with their defense in the second half, and FEU managed just 15 points on 5-of-29 shooting in the third and fourth periods. Before that, however, the Tamaraws had given the defending champions a big scare.

"First half, na-limit namin sila sa 29 points," said Comboy, who had 8 points on 3-of-15 shooting in the game. "Para sa amin, big achievement na 'yun kasi gusto namin 'yung kalaban namin, after the game, below 60."

The Tamaraws led 40-29 at the break, and were up 42-29 after an LJ Gonzales bucket early in the third quarter. They were shackled the rest of the way, however, with Ateneo limiting them to 7 points in the third frame, and just 8 points in the fourth.

Veteran big man Barkley Ebona lamented their struggles on offense, noting that their missed shots and turnovers fueled Ateneo's run in the second half.

"Sa depensa, andoon naman kami sa depensa namin eh," said Ebona, who put up 4 points in the loss. "Siguro sa opensa namin, hindi kami nakaka-execute. Tapos nakakatakbo sila, tapos kulang kami parati sa tao sa takbo nila."

"At saka 'yung mga rebounds, nabigyan namin sila ng maraming offensive rebounds," he added.

Ateneo grabbed 22 offensive rebounds, which led to 25 second chance points. They also scored 29 points off the Tamaraws' 24 turnovers.

"Napakasayang talaga," Ebona rued. "Nakaka-frustrate, kasi alam mo 'yung, andoon na eh. Pwede niyo nang kunin."

Both veterans were encouraged by their strong showing, however, and focused on the positives that they could take away from the game. Comboy pointed out that they are the first team in the UAAP this season to post a double-digit lead against Ateneo -- something that he already considers an achievement.

"We can compete pala at that level," he said. "Ang question lang is 'yung consistency, kung magagawa ba namin 'yun ng 40 minutes."

Ebona, for his part, said: "Nakita namin eh, kaya namin eh. Di ba? Kaya namin sila talunin."

But like Comboy, Ebona stressed that it was important for them to play at that level for an entire game.

"Kailangan lang talaga na gawin namin hindi lang sa first half. Dapat, whole game, hanggang sa matapos 'yung laro," he said.

"Kasi nakita namin na kaya namin i-contain sila nang three quarters. So isa na lang kulang, isang quarter na lang," he added.

The loss dropped FEU to 5-6 in the season, good for fifth place. They finish their elimination round schedule against De La Salle University, Adamson University, and University of the East.

"Yung magandang laban pinakita namin, so dalhin lang namin 'yun sa ibang games namin," said Ebona. "Improve lang namin 'yung mga mali namin, at hopefully matapos namin 'yung laro nang 40 minutes, hindi lang sa tatlong quarter."

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