UE comes back to beat Lyceum, but coach wary of slow starts
MANILA, Philippines—University of the East shrugged off a rough start and picked up the pace in time to turn back Lyceum, 82-72, Wednesday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
High from their conquest of UAAP finalists University of Santo Tomas last Saturday, even the Red Warriors were punished for their performance in the first two-and-a-half quarters.
“Galing kami sa maganda panalo, siguro masyadong na-excite sa nakaraang panalo (We come from a beautiful finish, perhaps we become excited of our previous wins),” forward Andrian Santos even admitted.
“Pero nakabawi naman kami (But we’ve recovered),” he added.
True enough, after Lyceum pushed the lead to 48-37—its biggest of the game—with two-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter, UE bounced back hard.
By the end of third quarter, the Red Warriors were on the driver’s seat, 57-50, after a stifling 20-2 run as the Pirates were limited to just one field goal in almost 7-and-a-half minutes.
But head coach Boyzie Zamar cautioned his boys that they might not be able to come back anew from deficits like these when it came to the UAAP.
“Hindi kami pwede magka-bad start. Sa ibang UAAP teams like La Salle, UST di na ka makakabawi nyan (We can’t have a bad start. In other UAAP teams like La Salle, UST, they won’t be able to recover),” said Zamar.
But with Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie’s help, UE pulled off the win en route to a 5-2 slate.
Sumang finished with 19 points, five rebounds and six assists—including a personal 8-0 burst, highlighted by a triple and a nifty and one play, to inch UE closer in the third.
Mammie, then, got over his ugly free-throw shooting in the first half and four of the next six points to give UE a 50-48 lead with 3:08 in the third and the Red Warriors never trailed again.
Jay-ar Summido and Santos added 12 and 10, respectively for the Red Warriors.
Mark Francisco finished with 14 points for the Pirates, who failed to notch their first win in five tries even despite a tough stand against the Red Warriors.
Lyceum pulled within five several times in the fourth quarter, 60-65, then 62-67, with four minutes left to play but couldn’t get over the hump anew.
Shane Ko and diminutive guard Dexter Zamora chipped in double digits, 11 and 10, in that order for the Pirates.
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