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FEU rules Red Bull 3x3 NCR Qualifiers

Coach Mau Belen hugs Leyton Buenaventura after he scored the game-winner for FEU. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG—Far Eastern University reigned supreme in the Metro Manila qualifiers of the Red Bull Half Court Philippines on Saturday at the Gameville Ball Park.

FEU banked on the heroics of Leyton Buenaventura as he scored a putback off a free throw miss to give them a 12-11 win over Team Elite in the championship game that went to overtime.

"I just wanted to get that one more point for us," Buenaventura said after the win.

"That's what does matter at that moment."

Now coached by Mau Belen, FEU will headline four men's squads that will go to the Red Bull Half Court Philippines National Finals on April 27 at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila through the provincial qualifiers.

Despite the tough defeat, Team Elite still earned its spot in the national finals even as semifinalists Kamalayan and CJHA-B are also heading to the next phase of the 3x3 tournament.

Interestingly enough, Belen's pro team, PBA 3x3 powerhouse Pasig-TNT, is already seeded to the national finals as a direct invite.

"That's gonna be tough for me," said Belen, who then bared that FEU's high school squad is also in the national finals.

In the women's division, NZ Creamery beat Falcons Blue, 13-6, in their own final, but both teams booked their places in the national finals.

Falcons Blue, made up of Adamson women's basketball team players, pulled off the biggest shocker in the distaff side when they ousted Uratex Tibay in the semifinals, 12-11, denying the top women's 3x3 team domestically right now of a spot in the national finals in the process.

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