Pumaren on La Salle loss to Ateneo: ‘We just gave up’
MANILA, Philippines — For La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren, the Green Archers simply gave up against Ateneo in their first clash of UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.
The veteran coach rued how his team failed to execute their offensive game plan en route to absorbing their first loss so far and leaving their rivals the only unbeaten team.
“Kind of frustrating the way we played. We made lots of mistakes out there, we did not execute the things we were doing offensively. We just gave up. That’s the way I see it,” said Pumaren after their 57-74 loss on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle erased a 13-point lead of Ateneo in the second quarter behind the effort of Michael Phillips, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and trimmed the lead down to one, 42-41, early in the third period.
However, the Green Archers lost steam when Ange Kouame powered the Blue Eagles’ third quarter surge that they sustained in the payoff period en route to their fourth straight win of the season and 30th consecutive victory dating back to October 18.
“We told them that we really didn’t execute well tonight. We were running away on what we should be doing. We didn’t run the offense pattern that we should be running out there,” the La Salle coach said. “It ended up that there’s a lot of forced shots. We had no discipline offensively that’s why we lost the ballgame and they really played good defense.”
La Salle was limited to 27-of-72 from the field. Transferee guards Mark Nonoy and Evan Nelle combined for 7-of-23 shooting, finishing with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Main man Justine Baltazar, who vowed to use all the things he learned from Tab Baldwin during his Gilas Pilipinas stint, was checked with five points only shooting two of his 10 attempts.
“Part of it is because there’s no execution, that’s why we ended up shooting bad shots. We were doing things away from what we’re supposed to do offensively,” Pumaren lamented.
Pumaren and his wards are moving on from their sorry loss to their fierce rivals in the last closed door game of the season, as they go back to the drawing board and bounce back against University of Santo Tomas (2-2) on Tuesday, where fans will be back in the stands.
“Most important thing is how we bounce back on Tuesday. We just gotta learn from our mistakes tonight,” he said. “We’re pretty excited about it after almost two years that there’s no crowd and no UAAP at all. Hopefully the supporters will be able to pump up the team when things aren’t going right for us. They could be a big help and they could be our sixth man.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.