UE all set to move on from three years of heartaches
Paul Lintag on Aug 28, 2016 07:40 PM
LESSON LEARNED. UE will take care of business from the first roun and will take matters into their own hands for a change.
HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 6-8
YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Bonbon Batiller, Clark Derige, Paul Varilla
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Andrei Armenion
GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Chris Javier
Missing the Final Four by a few games for the last three years has been nothing but tough for the University of the East.
Since Season 76, the Red Warriors have watched the playoffs thinking that if one or two plays went their way, they'd be one of the four teams chasing the UAAP championship.
Not to extend their misery for a fourth straight year, the 2016 Red Warriors are going all out, ready to channel their inner DJ Khaled in hopes of scoring a breakthrough for Season 79. As RR De Leon put it, "Isang lang masasabi ko sa kanila sa tuwing maguusap kami, nobody loves a loser."
"Kahit si Manong [Derrick Pumaren] nagsasabi, walang may gusto sa mga talunan, yun lang. Kung gusto niyo lahat ng bagay sa inyo, you need to win kasi pag nanalo ka, everything is gonna be okay," he added.
After all, winning is the great equalizer and if the Red Warriors do so in Season 79, the ghosts of missed chances in Season 76, Season 77, and Season 78 will all be exorcised.
However, saying you'll win is one thing and actually doing it is another.
Fortunately, the Red Warriors seemed to have figured out what the did wrong in the last three seasons. "Parang excited kasi lagi eh," De Leon told ABS-CBN Sports. "Yung first round kasi, yun yung hindi namin nilalagay sa isip. Parehas nung both seasons namin kay coach Derrick."
"Siguro kasi ang first round namin is steady lang, kumbaga parang wala kami sa focus na kailangan na namin manalo (agad)," he added.
No truer words have ever been spoken regarding UE in the last three seasons as the Red Warriors are a combined 13-8 in the second round compared to only 9-12 in the first.
In Season 77, they went 6-1 in the second round before losing by two points to eventual champion National University in the fourth-seed playoff. "Hindi na pwede yung nagdadasal na naman tayo na sana may matalong ibang team," De Leon stressed.
"Hindi na kami maghihintay na may matalo pang iba para umangat kami," he added.
So what solution does the Red Warriors see to avoid getting their hearts broken four years in a row?
Easy, all they should do is win, win, win, no matter what. "So ngayon mine-mentally focused na namin yung team na kailangan first round pa lang, nandun na," De Leon said.
"Kailangan lang namin manalo, manalo, manalo. Yun lang," he added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.