Red Warriors raring to make things right with disappointed UE community

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 05, 2017 05:43 PM
Red Warriors raring to make things right with UE community
MUCH TO IMPROVE. Alvin Pasaol and UE want nothing more than to give UE fans something to cheer for.

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 3-11, tied for seventh and eighth

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Philip Manalang, Mark Olayon, Alvin Pasaol

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Mark Maloles

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Bonbon Batiller, Edgar Charcos, RR De Leon, Renz Palma, Paul Varilla

A year ago, University of the East had the worst record in the UAAP.

They were tied with University of Sto. Tomas with similar slates, but they were nonetheless at the bottom of the standings.

Head coach Derrick Pumaren was not mincing words about how badly his Red Warriors performed. “It was a really disappointing season for us last year,” he said.

And still, UE is reaching for the stars for the oncoming season. Asked about their goal, “manong” answered, “Of course, I’d be lying if I said we’re not looking at the Final Four. We’re not here just for participation.”

This, even with the departures of once key cogs in Bonbon Batiller and Edgar Charcos as well as the graduation of all of RR De Leon, Renz Palma, and Paul Varilla.

Of course, Pumaren also has a more immediate, more important goal in mind. “Our objective right now is to better the performance namin last season kasi we disappointed the UE community,” he said.

Indeed, the Red Warriors’ 3-11 record was their worse in five years – something that, without a doubt, the red and white faithful were not happy about.

To do just that, “manong” is hoping several of his players return to form. “We are looking forward to a better performance. We are hoping that the guys we should be relying on will deliver this time,” he said.

Those guys now include heady pointman Philip Manalang, versatile forward Mark Olayon, and burly stretch big Alvin Pasaol. “Olayon is gonna be there. Philip Manalang, of course, he will be our main point guard now,” the head coach said.

Of the three, Pumaren has the highest hopes for Pasaol who will be entering his second season. “Alvin Pasaol will be our leader. I expect him to carry us,” he shared,

He then continued, “He played well [in the earlygoing] of last season, but this season, I expect him to be full blast right from the start.”

Another name “manong” mentioned was surprise team captain Clark Derige who busted out two years ago only to disappear last season.

The good news is he’s nothing but ready for the challenge. “Nagtataka nga rin ako kasi off ako last season. ‘Di ko in-expect na ako yung captain, pero sabi ko, binigay sakin ‘to kaya gagawin ko na lang best ko,” he said.

The even better news is the rest of Derige’s teammates are only following suit. “Sa ngayon, maganda yung ginagawa namin. Wala pa rin kaming import kaya double effort kami sa number one namin, yung press,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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