Posted Aug 16th 2014
UE flaunts two-import weapon vs. UP
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 12th 2014
Host University of the East (UE) will light up fireworks beyond the opening ceremony today as the re-armed Warriors showcase their new-found explosiveness on the hardcourt in the first game of the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Warriors, now coached by multi-titled Derek Pumaren, slug it out with perennial cellar-dweller University of the Philippines (UP) in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser.
Spitfire guard Roi Sumang banners a UE side flanked by hulking import Charles Mammie and rookie reinforcement Arafat Moustapha, who are expected to give the relatively smaller Maroons a crimson whipping down low.
Given the rule against fielding two imports at the same time, veteran Chris Javier will be the logical choice to join either Mammie or Moustapha in the paint.
Also returning for the Warriors are Gino Jumao-as, JR Galanza, Ivan Hernandez, Mark Olayon, and Dan Alberto.
UP on the other hand will again be handled by Rey Madrid, who replaced Ricky Dandan as coach mid-way through last season. But the quick changing of the guard did nothing to turn the Maroons’ fortunes around as UP went 0-14 last season.
Madrid though sees a better UP quintet this season, despite losing key players Sam Marata, Raul Soyud, and Chris Ball among others.
Henri Asilum, Season 76 Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao, incoming captain Moriah Gingerich and comebacking point guard Mikey Reyes lead the guard-heavy Maroons, whom Madrid predicts to win at least three games this season.
Former UAAP juniors MVP Mark Juruena will also make a comeback after sitting out last season. Juruena though will have to stretch himself out to man the middle alongside JR Galarza and Andrew Harris.
With a bigger and more seasoned line-up, the Warriors hope to improve their 7-7 record last season and barge into the Final Four. The Maroons meanwhile are hell-bent to give Madrid his first win and end an ignominous 21-game losing skid since 2012.
The game will air on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23, BALLS HD SkyCable HD 167, uaapsports.tv, iWantv.com, TFC Bro and TFC.tv with a same day replay at 10 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36