ATENEO coach Norman Black said on Thursday that University of the East very much deserved its 79-77 upset victory over the four-time defending champions.
“I thought UE played very well,” said Black. “They played with a lot of heart and they shot the basketball very well. They deserved to win.”
It was the first time the Blue Eagles lost to the Red Warriors since August 26, 2010 (62-60). Ateneo has not lost to a team below .500 since losing to University of the Philippines, 58-68, On July 26, 2009.
Black also admitted his players didn’t do a good job on defense which led to the explosion of UE’s guards Gene Belleza and Roi Sumang.
Belleza scored a career-high 28 points on five-of-eight shooting from three-point range while Sumang added 15 points and 10 assists.
Sumang dished off the most important assist of the game when he found Chris Javier all alone for the game-winner with 0.4 of a second left to play in the game.
“Our perimeter defense was horrible not like in our defense against La Salle. That’s pretty much the story of the game.”
Just like in previous games, Black looks to bounce back as the Blue Eagles face Adamson on Sunday.
“It’s just one game, guys,” Black told a handful of sportswriters who waited for the multi-titled coach outside the dugout.