Pumaren on UE's Final 4 bid: We’re still here | Inquirer Sports

Pumaren on UE’s Final 4 bid: We’re still here

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 09:43 PM October 25, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

University of the East’s chances for a Final Four spot has slipped to dim levels that it can only be described as “mathematical.”

The Red Warriors’ recent 99-78 loss to defending champion De La Salle saw them slip to 3-8 with three games remaining on their schedule.

That premise, however, doesn’t deter UE head coach Derrick Pumaren who still foresees a Red Warrior surprise in the semifinals.

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“We just have to remain positive, we still have a shot, we’re still here,” said Pumaren Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. “But I think we have to do a better effort than what we did today.”

UE’s next games are against Final Four teams Ateneo and Far Eastern University with University of Santo Tomas being the lone reprieve.

The Blue Eagles are atop the standings with a 10-0 card while the Tamaraws hold the fourth seed with a 5-5 record.

The Growling Tigers’ 0-10 card had pushed them out of the Final Four picture.

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“We were walking today and we let La Salle run,” said Pumaren whose team lost control of the game as early as the second quarter when it fell to a 40-24 deficit. “We can’t have that kind of play against Ateneo because that team is more cohesive and passes a lot more compared to La Salle.”

All of UE’s remaining games are all must-win contests and the Red Warriors will also rely on teams like FEU and NU to stumble if they hope to barge into the semifinals.

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And Pumaren knows the first step is scoring a vital victory, potentially, against the Blue Eagles.

“We have to focus on Ateneo first,” said Pumaren. “We have to concentrate on Ateneo on Saturday, and hopefully we’ll be able to steal a game from them.”

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TAGS: Derrick Pumaren, Sports, UAAP Season 80, University of the East red Warriors

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