Posted Feb 16th 2014
UE sends UP crashing to 0-14 end
By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 18th 2013
What has been a disappointing season for University of the East almost met a nightmarish end on Wednesday.
The Red Warriors almost threw away a huge lead but recovered just in time to deal University of the Philippines a stinging 76-73 setback at the end of both teams' campaign in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UE sizzled through the first three quarters to build a 65-49 lead late in the third period, but had to weather a big Fighting Maroon fightback to score their seventh win.
"I told the team na we were one game away from the playoff, two wins away from the Final Four," said coach Boycie Zamar, whose wards were touted as favorites after topping the preseason.
But save for a short run of dominance, the Warriors never looked like the favorites that they were, losing consecutive games to push them out of semifinal contention and almost dropping this one to winless UP.
Charles Mammie plowed his way to 21 points and 18 rebounds for UE, who won back-to-back outings to end their season on a positive note.
Graduating players Lord Casajeros and Ralf Olivares added 17 and 12 markers, respectively, as the Warriors sent the Maroons crashing even without star guard Roi Sumang.
Sumang missed his second straight game due to an injury.
Meanwhile, UP had its third 0-14 finish in the last seven years as they wasted a gallant comeback with head-scratching errors down the stretch.
Raul Soyud bade his UAAP career goodbye with 15 points and 15 rebounds even as Sam Marata also moves on with 22 points spiked by four three-pointers.
UE (76) - Mammie 21, Casajeros 17, Olivares 12, Jumao-as 9, Alberto 7, Santos 6, Javier 4, Sumido 0, Noble 0, Galanza 0
UP (73) - Marata 22, Soyud 15, Lao 10, Suarez 6, Ligad 5, Gallarza 4, Asilum 3, Wong 2, Harris 2, Ball 2, Gingerich 1, Amar 1, Paras 0, Desiderio 0
Quarters: 20-19, 44-34, 66-55, 76-73