UE stays alive, repulses UST; Falcons go out on winning note
MANILA, Philippines — University of the East moved from the brink of an unceremonious exit to within a win of crashing the UAAP Final Four.
The Warriors turned back University of Santo Tomas, 78-73, Tuesday to forge a playoff for the last semifinal slot in the men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We worked hard to be in this position right now,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren. “We’ve been trying to stay alive. We just have to stay alive one more time.”
UE, which at one point was at 4-5 (win-loss), tied National University at No. 4 with a 9-5 record on the final day of eliminations to force a knockout duel for a Final Four berth. UE and NU battle at 4 p.m. this Saturday, also at the Big Dome. The playoff winner will advance against No. 1 Ateneo, which totes a twice-to-beat advantage, in the Final Four.
Defending champion La Salle and Far Eastern University will clash in the other pairing, but will first dispute the No. 2 spot and the other semifinal bonus in a playoff at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Bong Galanza and Dan Alberto sparked a second-half tear as the Warriors also bucked an early distraction that saw Pumaren bench African center Charles Mammie in the first half due to disciplinary reasons. “I was kind of pissed with Charles coming in late,” said Pumaren. “I wasn’t going to use him even if we [were to] sacrifice this ballgame. Discipline is the No. 1 priority in this team.” Mammie sat out the first two quarters.
In the second game, Adamson averted a winless season with a 67-63 triumph over University of the Philippines to tie its victim at 1-13.
“I told [Mammie] we better win, or this is the last time he’ll be playing in that uniform,” Pumaren said.
UE 78—Galanza 17, Alberto 15, Sumang 10, Varilla 9, Javier 8, Mammie 7, Palma 4, Arafat 3, Guiang 2, Olayon 2, Jumao-as 1.
UST 73—Mariano 18, Daquioag 16, Abdul 13, Pe 9, Lo 7, Sheriff 6, Vigil 4, Basibas 0, Faundo 0, Gayoso 0, Lao 0, Subido 0.
Quarters: 15-17, 36-35, 60-50, 78-73
ADAMSON 67—Trollano 21, Rios 11, Ochea 9, Monteclaro 7, Polican 5, Villanueva 5, Iñigo 4, Pedrosa 3, Barrera 2, Aquino 0, Baytan 0, Garcia 0, Nalos 0.
UP 63—Dario 13, Lao 11, Gingerich 10, Reyes 9, Moralde 8, Gallarza 7, Juruena 3, Asilum 2, Vito 0, Harris 0.
Quarters: 12-24, 25-30, 50-45, 67-63
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