Red Warriors slaughter Tamaraws, break 5-year spell
MANILA, Philippines — They made their Final Four hopes known, and their announcement was loud.
Finishing off the league-leaders in their fourth quarter blitzkrieg, the University of the East Red Warriors flayed the Far Eastern University, 94-71, during their second round matchup in the UAAP Seniors basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum Sunday evening.
UE went berserk in the fourth quarter going on a 26-1 Tamaraw hunt to put the scores at 90-65 with big man Charles Mammie highlighting the run with ferocious two-hand jam and giving the Red Warriors a 25-point lead.
It was the Red Warrior’s first victory against the Tamaraws since the 2009 season and kept their Final Four hopes alive with a record 7-5 record to go to up to the fifth seed while snapping FEU’s seven-game win streak.
“I think the team really showed their guts out tonight, they refused to lose,” Red Warriors head coach Derrick Pumaren said. “We know the predicament we are in right now, we know we have to survive.”
Red Warrior swingman Bong Galanza utterly exploded for UE while Mammie imposed his will in the second half after riding the bench during the first two quarters due to foul-trouble.
After Carl Cruz knotted up the scores at 64-64 at the start of the fourth, the returning Roi Sumang immediately responded with a three of his own, launching from the right wing to start the 26-1 Tamaraw hunt.
Sumang then hit on back-to-back baskets, a coast-to-coast layup and a three-pointer from the left wing, to put the boards at 76-64.
“I think we played a hell of a defense in the fourth quarter, we are able to defend their-dribble drive offense,” Pumaren said. “We were there all the time to challenge their shots, I’m very happy and proud with the way the guys played tonight.
It was in the third quarter when the Tamaraws had their horns against the Warriors the closest at 56-54 when big man Anthony Hargrove split a pair of charities.
Galanza lit up the boards for UE with a season-high 26 points, with Charles Mammie bullying his way for 18 points and seven rebounds.
Dan Alberto pitched in 10 points with RR De Leon and Sumang adding nine apiece.
Mac Belo had 16 points for the Tamaraws which are now tied with the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles with a 10-3 record.
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