Coach Derrick says UE-UST matchup is ‘Finals’ to them

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 06, 2017 07:52 PM
Coach Derrick says UE-UST matchup is ‘Finals’ to them
BIG-TIME. Will Alvin Pasaol have another scoring outburst or will Marvin Lee and Jordan Sta. Ana finally be the difference?

Alvin Pasaol erupted for 49 points last Sunday, but all of it still wasn’t enough to lift University of the East to its first win in the season.

Still, that massive milestone has granted the Red Warriors some sort of momentum going forward. “This is good for us because we need something heading into the ‘Finals’ for Saturday,” head coach Derrick Pumaren told reporters after they dropped to 0-6 to start the season.

That remark drew laughs from everybody inside the press room as the mentor essentially acknowledged that he and his team have their best chance at winning matched up against also winless University of Sto. Tomas on Saturday at the MOA Arena.

Further poking fun at their own expense, the usually serious mentor kidded, “I heard there’s gonna be a board meeting dahil isi-single ticket yata yung game namin. Ni-request pa yatang preliminary kami sa Ateneo-La Salle sa Sunday.”

Traditionally, rivalry games between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers have separate tickets for them.

Turning serious, however, Pumaren said that while this is their best chance, defeating an equally hungry Tiger side remains a tall task. “We need something coming in dahil UST is also playing well. I think they are stronger than their record with the way they’re playing,” he said.

He then continued, “Hopefully, we can use this positive (Pasaol’s eruption) as a springboard into translating that effort and sacrifice into a win.”

Whatever happens then, whether they will still be winless or not, the UE head coach said they will continue aiming for the Final Four. “As I’ve said umpisa pa lang, we want a better performance and until we’re totally out of it, we’ll still be fighting for it. Right now, nobody’s assured of the Final Four so anything’s possible,” he shared.

He then continued, “As long as may pag-asa then we just have to keep working and giving effort.”

For their past, UST said they are as hungry as ever for that first win. “Papagtrabahuan namin talaga para makuha na namin,” team captain Marvin Lee expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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