By Jerome Lagunzad
Host Far Eastern University and National University reigned supreme in the inaugural UAAP 3×3 basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall last Sunday.
Guard Ino Comboy tallied 11 points while fellow veteran Richard Escoto capped his five-point showing in style with the title-clinching putback with 2:04 left to play as the Tamaraws defeated University of the East, 21-13, in the winner-take-all match in the men’s division.
Also composed of Kenneth Tuffin and Michael John Casiño, FEU jumped to a quick 10-3 lead and never let up to claim the bragging rights as the inaugural champions of the league’s new demonstration event.
The Red Warriors, led by hotshot Alvin Pasaol, Philip Manalang, Mark Maloles and Jason Varilla, tried hard to fight back but could not get any headway as they settled for a bridesmaid finish.
In the distaff side, the Lady Bulldogs proved too much for the Adamson Lady Falcons, 15-6.
Bannered by MVPs Afril Bernardino and Jack Danielle Animam, along with Ria Nabalan and Annick Tiky, NU once again showed the gulf in class in yet another dominant showing that came on the heels of its successful ‘four-peat’ bid in the women’s cage play last year.
In the Final Four, UE beat NU, 19-16, with Pasaol emerging as a one-man wrecking crew with 17 big points.
Meanwhile, FEU, behind Comboy’s six points, shocked fancied La Salle, 15-12, in the other semis pairing.
In the women’s action, NU defeated Ateneo, 10-5, to forge a championship date with Adamson, which turned back University of Santo Tomas, 15-8.