Sophomore guard Ino Comboy took his turn to shine offensively for defending champion Far Eastern U on Wednesday, firing away a career-best 20 points in a 71-76 loss to Ateneo in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tourney at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Comboy, 19, struck the hardest in the first half where he rifled in 16 points but cooled off in the stretch, costing the Tamaraws’ their second setback in three starts. The Blue Eagles, meanwhile, improved to 2-1.
The proud San Mateo, Rizal native, however, was in no mood to talk about his individual feat, saying: “Kahit na naka-career high ako, ang sakit pa rin sa loob kasi talo nga.”
While he shone the brightest offensively, Comboy admitted their defensive lapses against the Blue Eagles did the Tamaraws in.
“Nagkulang kami sa effort, lalo na sa depensa,” he lamented. “‘Yung nakahabol na kami, hindi naman namin nadikitan ‘yung (Adrian) Wong (who scored 10 points in the third). Madami pa rin kaming lapses sa depensa.”
Comboy also lamented the struggles endured by fellow wingmen Ron Dennison and Monbert Arong aside from guard Jojo Trinidad and Axel Iñigo, who all combined for just two points as they got the full brunt of the Blue Eagles’ stymieing defense.
“Nag-click nga ako kaso ‘yung ibang wingman namin nagsabay-sabay namang pangit ang laro,” admitted Comboy, adding the Tamaraws are still finding their new identity after losing the core of their championship-winning team last year led by the prized “Big 3” of Finals MVP Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy.
“Nawala ‘yung mga beterano namin sa team pero pinaghandaan talaga namin ito. Talagang kailangan namin maging defensive (team),” he said.
Also going down the drain with FEU’s setback were the double-double performances displayed by skipper Raymar Jose (16 points and 10 rebounds) and Cameroon import Prince Orizu (16 markers and 16 boards).
“Lahat naman kami kailangan mag-step up. Makikita niyo naman kalat ‘yung scoring namin,” said Comboy. “Siguro kaming dalawa lang ni Prince ang umangat ngayong game. Kaya sabi nga nila, kailangan maging 16-man deep ‘yung Tamaraws. Kailangan lang talaga namin mag-bounce back.”
FEU will have that opportunity on Sunday when it takes on struggling University of the East on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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