Posted Sep 17th 2014
UE faces last hurdle for Final Four playoff
By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 16th 2014
The University of the East tries to hurdle its final obstacle for a playoff for the Final Four when it battles ousted University of Santo Tomas in the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Riding on a four-game winning streak, the Red Warriors will be heavily favored against the Growling Tigers in their 2:00 p.m. match, where a win by the season hosts will push them to a do-or-die clash with National University for the last semifinals berth.
“We just have to take care of things on Tuesday against UST,” said coach Derrick Pumaren after UE came back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat defending champion De La Salle University last Wednesday.
“We’re not out of the woods yet. Right now, hindi pa kami andun,” he added. “We need to have that same fighting and survival instinct.”
Since being sent on the brink of elimination a few weeks ago, the Warriors have strung up a series of impressive wins against contenders and a victory against the Tigers would put them a step closer to breaking a four-year Final Four drought.
Pumaren said UE’s late rise could be attributed to his players finally getting familiar with his system.
“I’ve been handling them for around five months. They’re getting familiar with all the things we’re doing right now. They’re getting comfortable. They know what they’re capable of,” he shared.
The Warriors’ attack will be led by shooter Bong Galanza and hulking center Charles Mammie — both of whom have stepped up big time as UE returned to relevance in the tournament.
After getting disciplinary action for not attending practice, star point guard Roi Sumang has embraced the backup role Pumaren has given him, and even helped lead the Recto cagers in their impressive run against Far Eastern University the other weekend.
The game will air live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23, BALLS HD SkyCable 167, uaapsports.tv, iwantv.com.ph, TFC Bro and tfc.tv with a replay on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.