Pumaren: Rookie-laden UE exceeded expectations in UAAP Season 78
Missing the Final Four doesn’t translate to a lost season for University of the East.
The Red Warriors, whose lost the services of core players led by Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie, came just a win short of at least forcing a playoff for a Final Four spot and for head coach Derrick Pumaren that alone had made him feel that his team played beyond pre-season expectations.
“We didn’t win against Adamson, a team we were supposed to beat and we paid for it, but I think overall we exceeded the expectations with nine rookies,” Pumaren said. “I saw what this team can do. And we still believe we’re a lot better than our standing right now.”
UE finished the season in sixth place with a 6-8 record after beating University of the Philippines, 79-67, on Wednesday.
The Red Warriors won nine games last year with a core built to make a championship run but failed to crack the Final Four after losing in a playoff for the last semifinals slot to eventual champion National University.
UE overhauled its roster and paraded a team made up of mostly rookies and second-year players with Chris Javier as the lone senior.
The Red Warriors lacked the star power but they still made noise with their effort and part of their six wins were against top seed University of Santo Tomas and No. 3 Ateneo.
“I’m excited for this team next especially with one year of experience and exposure,” Pumaren said. “I can’t wait. I’m expecting a lot from this team next year.”
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