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UST, minus Teng, battles import-less UE

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 13th 2013

The Tigers (2-1) and the Warriors (1-2) meet in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser, hoping to rebound from stinging losses despite the absence of key players from both sides.

Losing Jeric Teng and a game in one day has suddenly put the University of Santo Tomas (UST) against the ropes.

But the Tigers refused to see it that way.  So does the University of the East (UE).

Despite facing a Teng-less UST today, the Warriors know the Tigers won’t be easy pickings even as UE looks to rebound as well, sans rookie import Charles Mammie, as both teams grind it out for the first time in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tigers (2-1) and the Warrior (1-2) meet in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser, hoping to re-enter the win column afetr stinging losses over the week.

UST will be playing sans main man Teng, who is still nursing the injured right shoulder he incurred in the second quarter of the Tigers’ 71-67 loss to National University last Wednesday.

On the other hand, UE is set to miss the services of Mammie, who took a one-game suspension following the Warriors’ botched comeback against Adamson University, 71-78. Mammie was automatically ruled out for the UE-UST match after getting his second warning pff a brief scuffle with Adamson’s Roider Cabrera.

Minus Teng, the Tigers are expected to shift their offense upfront and capitalize on Mammie’s absence down low.

“There will be a big adjustment. Wala si Jeric (Teng) so kailangang mag-step up ng iba, especially yung mga veterans. Dapat isa sa kanila maging leader,” UST coach Pido Jarencio said.

Out to carry the leadership slack for UST are experienced guns in Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul, and Aljon Mariano, among others.

Ferrer has led UST in its two previous outings, including a 20-point, seven- rebound performance against the Bulldogs.

Abdul have since been quiet after a double-double debut (16 points, 10 rebounds) against La Salle.  Mariano is yet to make an impact with his game despite recovering from a severe ankle injury two weeks before the start of the season.

“Nag-struggle lang ang mga bata, pero babawi sila lalo na ngayong wala si Jeric,” Jarencio said.

UE coach Boysie Zamar has already mapped out a gameplan without Mammie – and Teng on the other side.

“We have to make do with what we have. We will play with the guys available to us (today). If we can’t do it inside (with Mammie) then we will attack with our guards where we have a good advantage now,” he said.

Roi Sumang will again be the focal point of UE’s offense alongside veterans Chris Javier, Adi Santos, Lord Casajeros and rookie Ralf Olivares.

Sumang scored 12 of his 26 points in a furious UE fightback late in the fourth quarter but the Warriors failed to overcome the Falcons’ dogged resiliency towards the end.

The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167, and with a replay on the same day at 8 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/Destiny Cable channel 36.