Clark turns into Superman
Mark Escarlote on Nov 04, 2015 07:00 PM
I CAN BE YOUR SUPERMAN: Clark Derige came up big in an all-important game for UE
University of the East coach Derrick Pumaren gave Clark Derige a chance to show what he can do inside the court.
The second year player didn’t waste the opportunity to prove his worth with a career performance Wednesday.
The Quirino province native dropped 26 points from 10-of-18 field goal clip including nine markers in the crucial stretch of the fourth quarter as the Red Warriors kept their Final Four bid alive in a morale-boosting 91-77 win over the University of Sto. Tomas Tigers in the 78th UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Derige, a 6-foot-3 transferee from Far Eastern University, chipped in seven points in UE’s 19-7 burst in the game's last three minutes that turned the Red Warriors’ slim 70-68 lead to a 14-point advantage with 35 seconds remaining.
“Clark had a career-high. He was making those tough shots. I know he can make those shots but he just have to give that full concentration in the game,” said Pumaren of his forward. “Hopefully, this is his breakout game and he has to play consistent basketball.”
The 21-year-old slotman started the game at power forward instead of Nick Abanto and played his longest minutes with 27.
Derige shot 8-of-14 from the perimeter and 2-of-4 from the outside with a perfect 4-for-4 trip from the foul line. He grabbed six rebounds with a steal.
“He gave us that big lift that we wanted. He is a stretch four so we wanted teams to go out and defend him out there,” added Pumaren. “He made crucial free throws in the end when they are trying to foul him and gave him all those free throws.”
Derige said that he just wanted to take advantage of the trust Pumaren gave him. His contributions helped UE improve its record to 4-7, a valuable win to fan the Red Warriors’ semifinals hope.
“Ginawa lang po namin ang pinapagawa ni coach na yung nga po play consistent basketball. Ginawa lang po namin kasi kami ang naghahabol sa standings,” said Derige, a product of Palarong Pambansa back in 2011 for the Cagayan Valley Region.
Derige was scouted by FEU and was listed on the Tamaraws’ Team B. He decided to transfer for an opportunity to play in the league.
“Bale nag-Team B po ako ng two years sa FEU. (Lumipat ako) kasi parang mas maganda yung opportunity ko na makalaro sa UE. Sariling decision ko lang,” said Derige, a walk in recruit of UE.
And he’s thankful for the second chance to fulfill his dream.
“Malaking pasasalamat ko kay coach na may tiwala siya sa akin. Kaya tine-take advantage ko ang tiwala niya sa akin at ipinapakita ko a ng best ko sa kanya para patunayan na karapa’t dapat akong maglaro,” he said.
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