UAAP Season 78 Preview: All-Filipino UE to turn weakness into strength | Inquirer Sports

UAAP Season 78 Preview: All-Filipino UE to turn weakness into strength

/ 10:17 PM September 02, 2015

Head Coach: Derrick Pumaren
Last season: 9-5 (5th Place)
Key losses: Roi Sumang, Moustapha Arafat, Charles Mammie, Dan Alberto
Key returnees: Chris Javier, Paul Varilla, RR de Leon
Key additions: Phillip Manalang, Fran Yu

If there’s one team which took the biggest hit in the offseason, it’s University of the East.

Losing top gun Roi Sumang and their foreign players, the Red Warriors also received another blow with Dan Alberto ruled ineligible a month before the season started.

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But coach Derrick Pumaren believes that the team has adjusted to the problems accordingly and will be up to par once the season starts.

“We’re under the radar right now but the team has adjusted to the losses and is used to playing without an import. We know that were a smaller team and we’ll use that to our advantage,” he said. “We’ll use our weakness as our strength.”

Though dealt with a lot of problems, the goal for UE never changes.

“Our immediate goal is still making it to the Final Four,” Pumaren said.

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The all-Filipino Red Warriors have the youngest roster this season with nine rookies in tow and majority of the veterans being sophomores. But team captain Chris Javier believes that the team has what it takes to achieve something special this season.

“Leadership is a matter of acceptance and I took that. I know I have to step up and I have to practice hard and hopefully, inspire my teammates,” the senior big man said.

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Javier also reiterated that staying true to its brand of basketball would definitely help UE shock teams this coming UAAP season.

“We just have to stay with our style, we play the Pumaren system because that’s our bread and butter, being a pressing team,” he said.

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And that’s just how Pumaren likes it, all-out whole court intensity for 40 straight minutes.

“It will be an exciting team. We’ll play full court and try to maximize our strengths,” he said.

TAGS: Dan Alberto, preview, Sports, uaap season 78, UE Red Warriors

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