Pumaren’s sad news: ‘UE on the brink of getting eliminated’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 19, 2016 08:12 PM
Pumaren’s sad news: ‘UE on the brink of getting eliminated’
DANGER! DANGER! Derrick Pumaren is perilously close to again missing out on the playoffs.

The University of the East started strong and seemed very much like a squad that wanted to stretch their streak to three in the 79th Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Mounting a 14-point advantage early on, the Red Warriors lifted their foot off the pedal and allowed Ateneo de Manila University to steal their thunder and ultimately, the much-needed win.

The Blue Eagles went on a 33-12 tear to suddenly snare a 42-35 lead in the second quarter. They would not look back from there as UE only had eight field goals in the last two quarters.

Lamenting their many missed chances, coach Derrick Pumaren said, “The players ran away from what we were doing well. I warned them nung first quarter that the game was far from over and we knew Ateneo was coming back.”

He then continued, “They thought that the game was over.”

Indeed, the Ateneo defense flipped the switch starting in the second quarter and clamped down on the Warriors who shot 43.8 percent in the first half before ending with a 31.9 percent clip.

And so, Pumaren’s wards lost for the seventh time in nine games to remain in last place. And he was self-aware enough to admit, “Everybody’s fighting for their life and we are too. We’re right there, but we’re on the brink of getting eliminated.”

He then continued, “It’s out of our hands. We just have to take care of things and hope for the best. Yun ang sad news.”

Considered as a darkhorse contender in the preseason, UE now have to win out in their remaining assignments just to give themselves a chance – however slim it may be – for the playoffs.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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