Unheralded Derige drops 26 as UE keeps semis hope alive

Mark Escarlote on Nov 04, 2015 05:12 PM
Unheralded Derige drops 26 as UE keeps semis hope alive
University of the East forward Clark Derige uncorked 26 points in torching University of Sto. Tomas.

University of the East flirted with disaster before clamping down on defense in the last three minutes to tame the University of Sto. Tomas Tigers, 91-77, as the Red Warriors kept their semifinals hope alive in the 78th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Big Dome.

Red Warriors head coach Derrick Pumaren found a gem in unheralded Clark Derige as the 6-foot-3 forward registered a career-high 26 points including nine in the fourth quarter to help UE notch it’s fourth win in 11 games. Derige shot 10-of-18 from the field and pulled down six rebounds.

“As I told the boys we have to play with a sense of urgency. We know that we still have a shot to go to the Final Four or maybe a tie to the last slot,” said Pumaren. “I think we had a good couple of practice in the last two weeks and I think we were ready for them.”                            

The Recto-based squad saw its 13-point lead, 65-52, at the start of the payoff period melt to 70-68 in the last 3:52 before doubling up on defense extinguish the Tigers’ comeback attempt.

Banking on their signature full court pressure defense, the Red Warriors disrupted UST’s offense while pouring in a 19-7 run to widen the gap, 89-75, with only 35.7 second left.

Chris Javier finished with 13 points while Paul Varilla, who made a boo-boo of hitting an own goal after the opening tip to break the ice, had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds with four assists for UE. Nick Abanto also got 10 markers for the Red Warriors, who need to sweep their remaining games against Adamson, University of the Philippines and De La Salle for a shot in the last Final Four ticket.

UST dropped their third game in 12 outings but remained on second spot behind league-leading Far Eastern University (10-1).

Cameroonian import Karim Abdul scored 25 points and hauled down 15 boards while Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer chipped in 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Tigers.              


Box scores:

UE (91) - Derige 26, Javier 13, Abanto 10, Varilla P 10, Batiller 9, Charcos 8, Manalang 6, Palma 4, Gagate 2, Varilla J 2, Sta. Ana 1

UST (77) - Abdul 25, Daquioag 11, Ferrer 10, Vigil 9, Lee 9, Lao 6, Sheriff 4, Bonleon 2, Subido 1, Garrido 0

QUARTER SCORES: 20-15, 39-38, 62-52, 91-77



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